The Associated Press reports that the workers were detained and taken to Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers for suspected immigration violations, according to Homeland Security spokesman Marc Raimondi. Wal-Mart said the workers are employed by a subcontractor.
Wal-Mart spokesman Marty Heires said in a statement,”We have written contracts with these subcontractors requiring that they follow all applicable local, state and federal employment laws.” He said the company would cooperate fully with federal authorities, according to the AP.
Schuylkill County Sheriff Frank McAndrew said he began investigating the site and contacted federal officials after getting complaints from local tradespeople. He said at least 120 workers were detained, many from Mexico.
In March Wal-Mart Stores Inc. agreed to pay $11 million to settle a civil suit brought on by federal authorities over charges that it employed illegal immigrants through outsourcing contracts (See Wal-Mart Settles Illegal Floor Cleaners Suit ).That settlement required the retailer to create an internal program that will ensure that compliance with immigration laws occurs by both the store and any outside contractors.