INS Raids Provo Business in Immigration Crackdown; Company Claims Workers Were Legal

INS Raids Provo Business in Immigration Crackdown; Company Claims Workers Were Legal

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Central Utah Correspondent Sam Penrod reporting A Provo business was raided this morning by immigration agents who arrested dozens of people.

INS officials say it was a crackdown on illegal workers.

INS officials say more than 100 people were arrested in this morning's raid and call the operation part of the government's crackdown on illegal workers in this country.

Witnesses say they counted upwards of 80 officers who surrounded the Champion Safe company in Provo just before 11 a.m.

INS agents and officers from some local police departments came armed with a search warrant to arrest illegal workers and to seize employment documents from the company.

The INS brought in two large buses and two vans to transport those who were arrested.

INS officials are saying very little about the operation, only that it dealt with people who were working in this country illegally.

"Today's arrests resulted in several unauthorized workers working at the company," says INS spokesperson Nina Pruneda.

"We were fully cooperating with immigration over the last few weeks, and then to have this unannounced raid done so quickly and with so many officers without any warning is angering and frustrating," says Jose Silva, attorney for Champion Safe.

Attorneys for Champion Safe insist the company had documents provided by the workers proving they were legal.

INS says its investigation is ongoing and won't say if company officials face charges. Those arrested could face federal immigration charges.

Some family members claim that their relatives are U.S. citizens and should not have been arrested.

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