Federal immigration agents arrested illegal aliens from Mexico during raids at two custom injection molders in Elk Grove Village, Ill., the fourth such action against Chicago-area plastics plants this year.
In the most recent raids, conducted Feb. 25, Immigration and Naturalization Service officers arrested 91 undocumented immigrants at Custom Plastics Inc. and 22 illegal workers at Sun Plastics Inc.
INS spokeswoman Marilu Cabrera said the agency is not targeting area plastics plants: ``It's a coincidence. It just so happens we received tips on both these companies'' in Elk Grove Village.
Custom Plastics officials said they are cooperating fully with INS.
``We felt our documents were in good order,'' said Jane Daniels, human resources director. ``We knowingly do not hire illegal people. We could not determine if they were good documents.''
Sun Plastics declined comment.
Cabrera said the INS is investigating whether the companies violated labor laws by knowingly hiring illegal workers. Such investigations usually take two or three months.
Eighty-two people arrested in the Elk Grove Village operations returned to Mexico voluntarily, while 27 have asked for a hearing and four were let go because their work papers were pending, Cabrera said.
Workers at Custom were making $6-$10.50 an hour, the firm said. Custom employs about 300.
Sun's workers were making $5.25-$7 an hour, INS said.
In separate incidents in January, INS agents arrested 40 illegal aliens at Elgin Molded Plastics Inc. in Elgin, Ill., and 19 undocumented workers at Accu-Tec Systems Inc. in Elk Grove Village. Agents also arrested 51 illegal aliens from Mexico Oct. 28 at Davies Molding Co. in Carol Stream, Ill.