Immigrants face deportation after traffic stop

Monday, March 14, 2005

Ten illegal immigrants face deportation after the van they were in was stopped as they returned home from work at an egg production plant, officials said.

The van was stopped Wednesday night in Spirit Lake. The passengers, all of Sibley, were detained. An 11th passenger was a United States citizen and was released on Thursday, officials said.

No charges were immediately filed.

Tim Counts, a spokesman with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said all the passengers will be deported. Two of the passengers had previously been deported and could face harsher penalties, he said.

Part of the investigation will be to determine if the egg company and subcontractor that hired the workers knowingly hired undocumented employees, Counts said.

The traffic stop occurred a week after a minivan carrying ten illegal immigrants was struck from behind by a semitrailer on Interstate 80, west of Des Moines.

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