ICE Raids At Fresh Mark Forced Local Officials To Ensure Housing For Up To 60 Kids

An employee at Fresh Mark's plant in Salem, Ohio, is arrested by immigration authorities on June 19, 2018. [Immigration and Customs Enforcement]

In the aftermath of Tuesday's raid of the Fresh Mark meat processing facility in Salem, local officials scrambled to make sure children of detained parents were cared for.

The raid affected between 50 to 60 kids in about 35 families, according to Columbiana County Job and Family Services Director Eileen Dray-Bardon.

She says her office worked with the Salem Police Department and two local churches after the raid to make sure the affected kids were safe.

“There’s been a good circle of support there for a long time and they just kind of kicked into gear to say, ‘let’s make sure these kids all have a safe place to go’ because you know it’s a little traumatic when something like this happens,” said Dray-Bardon.

She says most of the kids stayed with family or friends, but the local churches had to find people to take care of a few others.

“There was no pre-notice, there was no planning particularly. The Salem Police Department contacted one of our workers who happened to be working in the area and asked if we could perhaps provide some assistance,” said Dray-Bardon.

According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, more than 146 employees at the Fresh Mark plant in Salem were arrested during the raid and parents whose children were left uncared for and people with health concerns have been released.

An ICE spokesman could not confirm the number of people released.

Fresh Mark participates in the federal government’s employment verification program, known as e-Verify, which compares documentation provided by new hires to records held by the Department of Homeland Security.

The company also had three of its other locations in Canton and Masillon raided by federal authorities.

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