Workers appear in court on chargesTwenty-three workers from India accused of being illegal immigrants made their first appearances in court, with the help of two public defenders and three interpreters.
FARGO (AP) — Twenty-three workers from India accused of being illegal immigrants made their first appearances in court, with the help of two public defenders and three interpreters.
The men were not asked to enter a plea at Friday’s hearing, which was held in a room at the Cass County jail. U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Klein set a detention hearing for next week, and ordered the men held in jail.
Public defenders Jeffrey Viken and Chris Lancaster told Klein they used interpreters to explain the charges, maximum penalties and constitutional rights. The lawyers said they were confident their clients understood.
The men were working on an ethanol plant for a Fargo construction company when they were arrested. An advocate for the workers has said they are victims of human trafficking and that they came to the United States to work after Hurricane Katrina.