U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrested 81 workers suspected of being in the U.S. illegally after a raid June 19 at plastic tube manufacturer Iridium Industries Inc. in East Stroudsburg, Pa.
The workers were taken into custody as part of an ongoing investigation, agency spokesman Adam Puharic said June 21. The roundup found citizens of four countries - 75 from Indonesia, two from Malaysia, two from Ecuador and two from Mexico - who did not have proper documentation and will be charged with administrative immigration violations, he said. The workers face deportation hearings.
In a news release, Iridium plant manager Wayne Migliaccio said a federal agent started the raid by telling him, ``You are not the target here. You are the victim.'' Migliaccio said the raid was aimed at a temporary employment agency, which he did not name. He said the employment agency had the responsibility of authenticating the identity and legal status of the workers.
``Until yesterday, we had no reason to question their legal status,'' Migliaccio said.
Iridium makes squeeze tubes for cosmetics and other uses, and employs 130 full time. It is still operating. In May, county officials approved a $3.7 million bond issue for the firm to buy equipment and retain its 130 jobs.