U.S. immigration officials overnight seized 69 suspected illegal aliens about to board the same cross-country flight at Los Angeles International Airport on which 79 undocumented immigrants were taken into custody the night before, authorities said.
The 69 were trying to board Eastern Airlines Flight 80 to New York by way of Atlanta, said Immigration and Naturalization Service spokesman Joe Flanders. He said 54 were from Mexico, seven from El Salvador, four from Colombia and four from Guatemala. Most will be allowed to go home or request a deportation hearing, he said.
Flanders said one man was arrested and may have been the principal smuggler.
On Monday, authorities seized 79 illegal aliens during Flight 80’s 5:35 a.m. stopover in Atlanta, acting on tips from airline sources and someone who often traveled the route and became suspicious of fellow passengers.