U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service agents Tuesday arrested 190 people suspected of being illegal aliens at a Burbank jewelry manufacturer, an INS official said.
Those detained used counterfeit documentation, or fake “green cards,” to gain employment at the 1928 Co. in the 3000 block of Empire Avenue, said Greg Brechtel, assistant director of investigations for the INS.
The arrests ended a monthlong investigation of the company’s employee records, Brechtel said. Company officials cooperated fully and will not be subject to fines, Brechtel said. Employers are not required to determine whether an employee’s legal documents are valid, he said.
About 60 INS investigators converged on the company about 8 a.m. Tuesday and arrested the 190 people, who are being held at the INS detention facility in downtown Los Angeles, Brechtel said.
He said the investigation began after an INS official made a routine visit to the company to determine whether immigration laws were being violated.
Most of the 190 people detained were Mexican nationals, but a few were from Guatemala and El Salvador, Brechtel said. The majority were expected to waive deportation hearings and agree to be sent back to their native countries, he said.