MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say 20 people assigned by a staffing agency to work for a freight forwarding company in Tennessee have been charged with working under false identities.
The U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release Wednesday that employment agency Provide Staffing provided 20 employees to Expeditors International in Memphis.
Authorities say an investigation showed the workers were in the U.S. without legal documentation and presented false work eligibility documents. The employees, who are from Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, were arrested Nov. 28.
The Commercial Appeal reports that the workers had access to a cargo area at Memphis International Airport that required special clearance.
Immigrant advocates say the government is unfairly prosecuting the workers. They face up to five years in prison if convicted. They also can be deported.
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