Collins Statement on the Arrest of 13 Korean Foreign Nationals Working at SK Battery Plant

Sep 24, 2020
Press Release

COMMERCE, Ga. – Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) released the following statement after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 13 Korean foreign nationals illegally working at the SK Innovation Battery Plant in Jackson County.

"These arrests confirm what we suspected all along: for months, SK and their contractors have been engaged in an ongoing scheme to illegally employ Korean foreign nationals at their facility in Northeast Georgia. These jobs were promised to hardworking Georgians, and SK’s illegal and immoral actions have been nothing but a betrayal to Georgia taxpayers who have invested heavily in SK’s development in our state. I want to thank ICE for acting swiftly in response to my calls to deport this illegal workforce and for their commitment to enforcing our immigration laws." 

The state of Georgia gave SK over $300 million in tax breaks, grants, and land to encourage them to bring their battery factory to the state. However, these arrests prove the jobs SK once promised for hardworking Georgians were instead being given to Korean foreign nationals. 

In mid-August, Collins sent a letter to ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requesting a full investigation into SK’s ongoing scheme after Collins was contacted by a constituent who had observed firsthand Korean nationals illegally working at the facility. One week later, Collins wrote a second letter to ICE and CBP urging swift action on the investigation into SK after Collins received new information on the company’s ongoing effort to illegally employ foreign nationals at their facility. This came after Collins learned that local officials discovered over 200 Korean foreign nationals were training for on-the-job welding at a non-operational chicken farm just five miles from SK’s construction site.