The Department of Homeland Security went into Bollinger Shipyards’ Lockport, La., facility earlier this week and arrested 19 unauthorized immigrants as part of a federal investigation, according to a report by The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate/NOLA.com.
Fourteen of those 19 workers were processed and released, while the rest were placed in ICE detention, according to the news outlet. Sources told the Picayune that the investigation is related to immigration violations. It is not known whether those detained worked at the shipyard. Of the 12 operating facilities that Bollinger owns, not all of them shipyards, only the Lockport shipyard was targeted.
"Bollinger Shipyards is aware of actions taken by the Department of Homeland Security to look into the immigration status of a small number of workers at our Lockport facility. Bollinger strictly adheres to all local, state and federal employment laws, and is enrolled in and uses the federal government’s E-Verify system to confirm the immigration status of all workers," Bollinger Shipyards' general counsel, Rachael Battaglia, was quoted as saying by the news outlet.
Homeland Security Investigations is the investigating arm of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to the Picayune.