Local News in Brief : 36 Suspected Illegals Picked Up in Van Nuys

Federal immigration officers rounded up 36 suspected illegal aliens in Van Nuys on Thursday at a pickup spot for day laborers, authorities said.

The workers were apprehended during a 10 a.m. raid in the 6400 block of Kester Avenue near Victory Boulevard, said John Brechtel, assistant district director for the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

All 36 were being held in the INS detention facility downtown, Brechtel said, adding that they will be interviewed to see if any are eligible to remain in the United States.

Most of the undocumented workers, however, agreed to waive deportation hearings and were expected to be bused across the border Thursday night, he said.


Authorities have described the area along Kester Avenue between Oxnard Street and Victory Boulevard as the largest pickup point for day laborers in the San Fernando Valley.

The INS, responding to complaints from residents, the business community and police, apprehended 19 people last month and 99 in August.

“We’ve had that area under surveilance for the last four months,” Brechtel said. “When the numbers start building up we go out.”