In a stunning television report, Fox 5 Atlanta sheds new light on who is giving illegal immigrants jobs. This news team collected more than 16,000 records from three area jails which flagged illegal aliens and also collected information from them — including who their employer is.

The news team discovered that more than half of the workers not surprisingly listed jobs in construction or as day laborers, but a fair number of the illegal immigrants also held down jobs at mainstream companies which say they work hard to keep illegal immigrants out of their work force.

The companies included such businesses as McDonalds, Wendy’s and the Golden Corral. A fair number worked at Target, Home Depot and even a few at Wal-Mart. The journalists tried to question the businesses about their hiring practices but for the most part got little but written statements emphasizing the company tries hard to make sure they don’t hire illegal immigrants.

When the news team visited one area restaurant, they got very little in the way of an interview and the business owner provided a written statement only.

In some instances, the companies denied they had illegal immigrants working for them, even though jail mug shots of those workers showed them in their work shirts or uniforms — and those outfits matched those of other employees at the business.

The I-Team also quoted experts who suggested that little was being done to keep companies on notice about hiring illegal immigrants. The news team also pointed out that the United States has a special program called E-Verify designed to help screen for illegal immigrants. But most of the companies involved didn’t use the program.