GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Some workers are worried they'll lose their jobs in about a week, because the federal government is cracking down on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.
For generations, Herbruck's, in Ionia County, has been processing and distributing eggs. The company employs 375 people and has had no problem with immigration authorities -- until now.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement won't confirm or deny specific investigations, but Herbruck''s said it recently was subjected to worker "audit."
This week, questionable workers were told they have seven days to reverify their documentation, or they could be fired.
One employee, who wanted to remain anonymous, did not receive a letter, but she said her coworkers feel betrayed by the company.
"I wish they would get penalized if they let all these people go, because they knew what was going on and they accepted it," the worker said.
Herbruck's never knowingly hired illegal immigrants, the company says. All workers have to produce two forms of identification when they are hired, as is required by law.
"We're not police officers," Steve Herbruck said. "It's not our job to validate someone's identification. It's not what we do."
The company could face stiff fines if it does not comply. Managers could be criminally prosecuted. The company did not say what percentage of workers have been red flagged, but it is actively looking for replacements.
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