Virginia: 59 Arrested on Illegal Working Charges

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 59 people in a raid April 8 at Lansdowne Resort near

Tuesday morning, ICE agents interviewed about 100 employees, which resulted in the arrest of 53 people accused of immigration-status violations. Two female workers were released at the site for humanitarian concerns. Another six people were apprehended outside of the facility.

The investigation started in early July 2007 after a routine inspection of all I-9 employment eligibility verification forms at the resort, just east of Leesburg off Route 7.

Through analysis of the I-9 forms, ICE agents identified information that led them to suspect that many of the employees were using fraudulent documents or had stolen someone else’s identity to secure jobs at the resort.

Attempts to reach Lansdowne officials before press deadlines were unsuccessful. No charges have been filed against the company. Steve Simpson, County sheriff, said his department did not participate in the raid.

The 59 men and women are citizens of El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, Bolivia, Peru and Argentina, and all face removal proceedings.

“The arrests were part of ICE’s nationwide aggressive pursuit of unauthorized workers and employers who violate the law,” said Mark X. McGraw, deputy special agent in charge of the ICE office of investigations in schemes.”