Federal agents, targeting not just to illegal immigrants but also the employers that hire them, arrested more than 40 people at an Otay Mesa bakery Wednesday.
The company, boasts contracts with schools, the military and health care facilities and some say it's those contracts that made the bakery a target.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) executed a federal search warrant on S & S Bakery on Brittania Blvd. on Wednesday.
The bakery's owner Jesse William Fadick, two bakery supervisors, Rigoberto Sarmiento-Machuca and Rogelio Machuca-Sarmiento
, and an employee, Abel Baizabal, were charged with conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens. The supervisors and employee were also alleged illegal immigrants.
ICE agents arrested 41 suspected illegal immigrants at the company's 35,000 square foot facility and identified 32 other employees. Three more suspects were arrested at homes in other parts of the county, including the aunt of Moises Martinez
"They knocked and I guess she didn't open right away and they broke the door down," said Martinez.
He felt the arrest was unfair. "She's not breaking the law or anything. She's just working like any other person," he said.
The company's contracts with the military may have brought more scrutiny to S & S Bakery.
of the American Friends Service Committee arranges legal help for illegal immigrants. He said ICE has been targeting companies that have government contracts.
Rios said the high profile raids have decreased, but audits of companies have increased leading to an increase in deportations.
"Under the Obama administration, there have been more deportations per year than with the previous Bush administration," he said.
He complained that the deportations have disrupted families and communities.
Rios said by Thursday night, at least 12 people had been released for humanitarian reasons.
"One couple was arrested. They had a two year-old child that was left in the care of someone else. The mother has been released to care for the child, the father is still detained," said Rios. However, Rios said they will still face deportation.
Immigration officials said 19 of the detained immigrants will serve as material witnesses.
S & S Bakery employees would not comment but workers seemed to be baking, with the smells of food escaping the facility. Other people arrived at the bakery seeking employment.
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Published at 5:43 AM PST on Oct 15, 2010