Immigration agents staged a morning raid on a Bingham County potato-packing warehouse, arresting at least 20 people for working with forged documents.
Monday’s raid at Liberty Produce, about 14 miles southwest of Blackfoot, is the latest in a growing number at southern Idaho businesses in recent months by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
The agency already has raided seven plants and arrested 120 illegal immigrants this year. By comparison, 400 had been arrested during raids on businesses in all of southern Idaho and Montana between October 1995 and September 1996.
The stepped-up raids follow calls by the Clinton administration for a crackdown on illegal workers, and an Immigration and Naturalization Service budget that has more than doubled since 1993.
Local agents would not officially confirm details of the raid, referring questions to Randolph Robinson, assistant director of investigations for the service’s Helena office. Efforts to reach Robinson were unsuccessful.
The Liberty Produce workers arrested were taken to Idaho Falls and interviewed before being put on a bus bound for Las Vegas, Nev., Monday night.
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