U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service agents from Baltimore raided an Eastern Shore company Monday and arrested 84 undocumented alien workers.
Agents discovered the workers at Chesapeake Building Components Inc., the second time in two years that undocumented workers were found at the Easton company.
"This operation should send a clear sign to employers in Maryland that INS will actively enforce immigration law as it pertains to the employment of undocumented workers," said Louis D. Crocetti Jr., director of the Baltimore District of the INS.
Company officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.
INS officials said that 57 of the aliens were from Mexico, 24 from Guatemala and one each from Costa Rico, El Salvador and Honduras.
Nine were flown back to Mexico yesterday morning. Twenty-two were being detained at the Howard County Detention Center and 32 at the Wicomico County Detention Center. Eighteen were in the process of being returned to their home countries.
If Chesapeake is found to have knowingly violated the employment eligibility provisions of the Immigration and Reform Control Act of 1986, it could be fined from $250 to $2,000 per worker.
In an October 1999 raid, 35 undocumented workers were found at Chesapeake.