Federal Immigration and Naturalization Service agents arrested 71 undocumented workers yesterday at a poultry processing plant and a commercial laundry in Prince George's County.
Most of those arrested had been smuggled into the United States, said John Shallman, an INS spokesman.
Shallman said INS agents executed simultaneous search and seizure warrants at Poultry Processing Inc. and Nutech Laundry & Textiles, both in the 5000 block of Monroe Place, an industrial park in Hyattsville.
They arrested the workers -- 56 from Mexico and 15 from other countries in Central America, he said.
Shallman said that their ages ranged from 18 to 50, and that 52 of them were female.
He said the majority of those apprehended appeared to have fraudulent identification documents and Social Security cards.
Each suspected alien was taken to the INS investigations office on South Caton Avenue in Southwest Baltimore for interviews.
They were held on bail ranging from $1,500 to $5,000.
Any employer who deliberately hired illegal workers could be fined up to $2,000 per worker, Shallman said.
INS Baltimore District Director Benedict J. Ferro said the INS has removed 150 undocumented workers from 25 businesses in Maryland this year.
That freed more than $2.3 million in annual wages for legal workers, Ferro said.
The INS last year fined employers more than $500,000 for immigration violations, he said.
"During work-site enforcement," Ferro said, "our first priority is targeting abusive employers, those who repeatedly violate immigration laws and other work-site laws."
Pub Date: 3/26/98