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Workers pack up after ICE audit

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This is pointless. Officers of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement come to Cashmere. They audit employee records at one of the region’s most important businesses — Crunch Pak, world’s largest supplier of sliced apples. As would happen at nearly any large business in this region, there were a number of employees whose records did not make the required match. They were told to produce valid documents or lose their jobs. There was no exact count, but we are told perhaps hundreds of employees will soon be dismissed.

There isn’t much of a legal issue in this. The dismissed workers were most likely not authorized to work in the United States, and the employer has no choice but dismiss them once their status is known. That’s the legal reality. But there are practical issues, too. A very important and thriving business has lost many valued employees. A small community has had its flow of income reduced. Schools will lose students. There are humanitarian issues. Perhaps dozens of families have lost livelihoods. Households will be splintered. Friends will lose friends.

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