â€œ[T]he use of ruses involving health and safety programs administered by a private entity or a federal, state or local government agency for the purpose of immigration work site enforcement has been discontinued by ICE,â€ the agency said in late March.
The move is a response to complaints from state and federal OSHA officials after the arrests of 50 undocumented contractors during a sting last year at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. Workers were lured by a flyer announcing a mandatory OSHA meeting.
â€œOur position has been since last summer that we did not agree with that tactic. It undermines the credibility of the department and what we are trying to do with our community outreach, especially to the Hispanic community, to foster a safe and healthy workplace,â€ an OSHA official said.
While stings related to OSHA will be discontinued, other ICE sting operations will continue, according to a Homeland Security Department official. Investigators have uncovered illegal aliens working at sensitive nuclear plants and military bases.