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Van Nuys printer supply company raided

February 7, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
More than 100 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided a printer supply manufacturer in the San Fernando Valley on Thursday, taking into custody about 120 employees for being in the country illegally and arresting eight on federal criminal charges, authorities said. The raid at the offices of Micro Solutions Enterprises began around 3:30 p.m., said Virginia Kice, an ICE spokeswoman, who said the basis for the criminal warrant that led to the raid was under seal.

The eight people were arrested for allegedly providing fraudulent information to get their jobs, Kice said.

All of the 120 people taken into custody for illegal immigration status were interviewed for what Kice called "humanitarian issues." About 40, including the elderly and those with children, were released to await a hearing before an immigration judge, Kice said.

Approximately 80 more remained in the custody of immigration officials for potential deportation.

The American Civil Liberties Union said it is offering free legal representation to anyone taken into custody.

"We're very concerned that people who were detained be given the opportunity to meet with a lawyer who can advise them of their rights," said ACLU lawyer Ahilan Arulanantham. "Some of them may be eligible for release on bond."

Arulanantham said ACLU attorneys who rushed to the scene of the raid were not allowed to talk to detainees.

Micro Solutions Enterprises, which manufactures and distributes toner cartridges, inkjets and other printer accessories, is family owned and operates facilities in California, Pennsylvania, Mexico and Canada, according to its Web site.

A message left after hours with the company was not immediately returned.

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Family members of workers arrested in the operation today can call a toll-free hotline number to get information about the detention status and removal process. The toll-free hotline number is 1-866-341-3858.

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