US detains 1,200 illegal migrants


US authorities have arrested almost 1,200 people in
what they say is the largest raid of its kind on migrants working
illegally in the country.

The alleged illegal immigrants worked for the same crate company and were held in nine different states.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the
raid was a warning to workers and employers “who tolerate or perpetuate
a shadow economy”.

The US Senate has been deadlocked over plans to reform immigration rules.

The Senate is due to resume its debate in a few days.

President George W Bush has proposed the introduction of
a “guest-worker” scheme – but this faces stiff opposition from some in
his own Republican party who see it as being too soft on lawbreakers.

According to the BBC’s Washington correspondent, James
Coomarasamy, the latest raid is clearly designed to counter that

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