Seven illegal immigrants who were arrested in an IRS raid at a meatpacking company that was cheating on its taxes are now suing the government for “profiling.”
The Washington watchdog Judicial Watch pointed out the illegal immigrants are being represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The far-left SPLC has been the target of multiple lawsuits by groups put on its “hate” list. Two cases recently were resolved through multimillion-dollar settlements.
SPLC’s complaint against the federal government charges Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents violated the constitutional rights of the illegal aliens against illegal seizure and equal protection under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
The illegal aliens were caught up in the law-enforcement sweep because they were being paid in cash, meaning the company was not withholding and submitting taxes, according to Judicial Watch.
The IRS staged the raid after slaughterhouse owner James Brantley of Bean Station, Tennessee, was targeted in the investigation of tax fraud.
“About 100 illegal aliens were arrested, most of them from Guatemala and Mexico and some had been previously deported from the U.S. more than once,” Judicial Watch said. “At least 54 people were deported immediately, some were released and others faced federal or state charges, according to a local news report following the seize.”
Brantley later pleaded guilty to federal crimes, including tax fraud and wire fraud.
“The feds say he avoided paying nearly $1.3 million in taxes by hiring at least 150 illegal aliens and paying them off the books in cash. The scheme began in 1988 and continued through 2018 when he got busted,” Judicial Watch said.
Brantley had claimed he employed only 44 wage-earning employees, according to the Department of Justice. His apparent objective was to avoid various federal taxes and unemployment premiums by paying the workers in cash.
An ICE agent said tax fraud “is an outrage to hard-working Americans directly harmed when criminals cheat their obligation to society by failing to pay their fair share, and the employment of illegal workers also poses a serious threat to public safety as the use of fraudulent identity documents exposes Americans to potential identity theft and other financial harm.”
But SPLC and pro-immigrant groups claim in the lawsuit that the victims had their “rights” violated.
SPLC called it the largest workplace immigration raid since the George W. Bush administration.
An SPLC official, Meredith Stewart, said: “What happened on April 5, 2018, was law enforcement overreach, plain and simple. We, as a nation, have a shared set of ideals, rooted in the Bill of Rights: We have a right to be free of racial profiling and unlawful arrests. If we are not willing to uphold those ideals for everyone in this country, then we are all at risk of losing our rights.”
SPLC claims federal officers conspired to plan and execute the raid “solely on the basis of their actual or apparent race or ethnicity.”
The case against nine ICE agents accuses them of being “brutal” and cursing and shoving workers.
SPLC recently has been sued for labeling organizations such as the Family Research Council as “hate” groups. It has reached huge settlement payments in several cases, and as many as 60 separate lawsuits are planned.