Federal Authorities Arrest Six at Fremont Meat Plant

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FREMONT, Neb. -- Federal authorities say six people arrested at a meatpacking plant outside Fremont this week are likely to face criminal charges related to identity theft, not immigration violations.

Officers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement visited the Hormel plant and made the arrests Wednesday. An ICE spokesman declined to discuss details of the ongoing investigation.

Jan Sharp with the U.S. Attorney's office in Omaha says the arrests have no connection to the illegal immigration ordinance Fremont residents voted Tuesday to keep.

Authorities did not immediately identify the people arrested because they haven't yet been indicted by a federal grand jury.

ACLU of Nebraska Legal Director Amy Miller released the following statement in response to reports that a Hormel plant outside of Fremont was involved in an ICE operation on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

"The timing of ICE’s operation at the Hormel plant raises serious concerns given Fremont’s vote on a housing ordinance aimed at driving immigrants from the city.

There is fear, apprehension and confusion within the Latino community, and rightfully so, about the implementation of this ordinance and how it will affect immigrants and their families. This puts a chilling exclamation point on what was already a bad and divisive situation for many Fremont residents.

It is ironic that while the Obama administration pushes for immigration reform, workers who are trying to take care of their families are criminally prosecuted and imprisoned."