U.S. Immigration officials said last week they arrested two Mexican nationals who had previously been deported and were working for a Lawrence paving company.
Gail Montenegro, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman, said agents during a “targeted enforcement action” March 10 made the arrests in Topeka. They were employed by Sunflower Paving Inc., she said.
One of the suspects was a convicted criminal who had been deported twice, and another was previously deported and illegally re-entered the United States, which is a felony, Montenegro said. Both would remain in ICE custody pending removal from the country.
Jeff Engroff, Sunflower Paving’s president, said Thursday the two people arrested were no longer employed there. He said the company uses the E-Verify system to check every potential employee’s eligibility before they start work and that the company was surprised by the arrests last week.
ICE agents at the time also cited two other Sunflower employees for immigration violations, and they were given notices to appear before a federal immigration judge, Montenegro said.
Engroff said Thursday both of those employees have been allowed to return to work because problems with their paperwork have been taken care of and they were cleared.