Federal agents raided injection molder Cos-Tech Plastics Inc. in Leominster, Mass., on Dec. 18 and arrested 44 suspected illegal workers, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
The 25 men and 19 women detained now face possible deportation, but the company will not face any fines or other penalties because it was in ``complete compliance'' with immigration laws, INS officials said.
INS spokeswoman Paula Grenier said she cannot comment on a specific case, but said employers that make a good-faith effort are not fined if workers submit fraudulent documents indicating they are eligible to work.
Company officials did not return telephone calls. However, plant manager David Burney told the Worcester, Mass., Telegram & Gazette that 36 of the 44 arrested were Cos-Tech employees. The rest came to the plant to drop off family members or friends who worked for the company.
Burney said many of the workers had been with the company several years and have been model employees.
The 44 will have hearings before a federal immigration judge by late January, where a final decision will be made on deportation, Grenier said.
The INS raided the plant after conducting a routine paperwork inspection, but Grenier declined to talk about specifics of the investigation.
Of the 44 workers, 37 are from Mexico and seven from Uruguay. The women were released to appear in court, while 22 of the men were sent to a New Jersey detention facility and three with other pending criminal charges were kept in Boston, she said.
About 25 agents participated in the raid, which was executed without any problems, Grenier said.
INS agents and local police cordoned off the plant and determined which employees did not have proper records, she said.