West Virginia University officials learned Tuesday morning (May 23) ) that the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) detained 28 workers employed by primary contractor USA Remediation Services Inc. and subcontractor Keystone Abatement Services for allegedly working in the U.S. illegally.

The workers were all working on the Coliseum asbestos removal project. The warrants were issued prior to the early morning shift change, and the workers were taken to INS offices in Pittsburgh.

Vice President Scott Kelley said University officials are disturbed by the news.

“When this issue came up some months back, WVU officials requested and received documentation from the contractor and subcontractors that indicated that all workers were indeed authorized to work in the U.S. and had the proper identification and paperwork on file,”he said.

“We are obviously shocked and concerned by the use of illegal workers, and will continue to follow up on this issue. We expect our contractors to abide by all federal and state laws and employ individuals who are legal to work.”

Kelley noted that this is exclusively an INS issue, and that the project will continue to move forward on schedule.

“The work is proceeding in a safe and effective manner and is on schedule and in accordance with EPA guidelines,”he noted.