07/14/2003 11:00PM

INS arrests 16 in Spa raid

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Sixteen backstretch workers were arrested after a sweep of Saratoga Race Course early Tuesday morning by the Immigration Naturalization Services.

The workers, all adult males, did not have the proper documentation to permit them to live and work in the United States, the INS said. Ten men were from Mexico, four from Chile, and two from Guatemala. They were taken into custody by INS officials and were being processed for deportation on Tuesday.

Amy Otten, a spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said the raid took place at 3 a.m. Tuesday. The local police accompanied the INS officials when the arrests were made. The INS would not reveal the names of the trainers who employed the arrested men.

Several years ago at Saratoga, a similar INS operation resulted in some trainers being fined for employing undocumented workers.