FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Nine contractors at Fort Bragg are being investigated for hiring the 58 workers who were detained for trying to get onto the Army post with false documents, a Fort Bragg spokesman said.
Tom McCollum said Wednesday that he did not know the names of the contractors that are being investigation or what agency was conducting the investigation.
Twelve companies are working on major construction projects on Fort Bragg, and the post has a total of 56 construction projects under way, according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman.
The workers were detained Tuesday when federal agents checked their documents as they tried to enter Fort Bragg between 6 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.
All but one will be deported, said a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Washington D.C.
Fifty were in custody Wednesday at the Johnston County Jail, while eight were released on an order of supervision and given a court date, said immigration and customs spokesman Marc Raimondi.
Countries of origin for the detainees included Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, Raimondi said. They included a suspected gang member, a sex offender, three immigration fugitives and two people who had re-entered the country after they were deported, he said.
U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes, R-N.C., vice chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism, wrote Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, urging him to pressure contractors and subcontractors to check the legal immigration status of their workers.
"I believe the problem fundamentally resides with the contractors and proper screening of their employees," he wrote.