Agents Detain 350 Illegal Workers at Plant

Howard Industries is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electronic transformers and transportation equipment. Early Monday morning, the Laurel facility was swarming with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. After hours of interviewing all the employees on site, 350 illegal immigrants were identified.

“They will have the opportunity to provide the facts of their case before an immigration judge,” said ICE spokeswoman Barbara Gonzalez. “If a judge determines that they are ineligible to remain in the country and orders them deported, then certainly we will carry out those orders of removal.”

In 2002 Howard Industries received a $31 million incentive package from the state to expand and create more jobs. On Monday the switchboard for the company was closed, and phone messages were not immediately returned.