Thirteen illegal aliens were arrested by federal agents Tuesday morning when they reported to work at a Bel Air condominium construction site, immigration officials said.
A 14th man, a Salvadoran, was released when authorities from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) learned he was eligible to live in the United States.
The men are framing carpenters for Stedman Construction, a Houston-based subcontractor building condos at English Country Manor.
The workers -- five Mexicans, four Salvadorans, three Guatemalans and a Peruvian -- are all between 18 and 30 years old, said Thomas E. Perryman, head of the Maryland District Sanctions and Fraud Squad of the INS. All of the men have been released on cash bonds of $500, said Mr. Perryman.
Mr. Perryman said his office received an anonymous complaint July 3 about the workers, who are believed to have been receiving $6 to $8 an hour, well below union carpenter rates of about $15 an hour.
"One man volunteered to return to Mexico," said Mr. Perryman. The others will be granted deportation hearings, a process that can take up to six months, he said.
Meanwhile, the men can apply for work permits and return to their jobs until they have their hearings.