The immigrants who were stopped by federal immigration authorities Wednesday on the highway in Foxborough were apparently on their way to work at Gillette Stadium.
The men were on a short-term contract to remove snow from the stadium, according to Stacey James, the vice president of communications at Gillette Stadium. Stacey said the stadium contracted the workers through a third party, and they had "every expectation that they are legally working."
The men were riding in four vans in Foxborough when they were stopped by immigration agents. Immigration officials said it was a "routine operation" targeted at fugitives with criminal records.
Spokeswoman Paula Grenier said the agents interviewed 60 men in the vans, most of them Guatemalan immigrants.
Seven of the men remain in federal custody at Bristol County Jail and House of Corrections. Five of them re-entered the country illegally after being deported. Two others were fugitives with criminal records and are being held for deportation.
Most of the remaining men — 49 total--have been ordered to report back to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further questioning.
That frustrated Carlos Escobedo, the Guatemalan consul from Rhode Island. "If they're looking for someone with a deportation warrant, they need to find another way to do it," he said, speaking in Spanish.
Escobedo says most of the men who were stopped by immigration agents are Guatemalans living around Providence, RI.
This program aired on January 8, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.