11 detained after immigration raid on tortilla factory in the Heights

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Eleven undocumented workers were detained, questioned, and released during an investigation of a tortilla factory in the Houston Heights.

Immigration officials say the nine women and two men were working illegally at La Espiga de Oro.

"These businesses are known to try to exploit or find vulnerabilities in our nation's labor laws," said ICE spokesperson, Greg Palmore. "That's how they go about hiring illegal aliens to further their business practices. "

In exchange for testifying against the factory, the workers are now allowed to stay and work in the country for at least a year, provided they follow a list of requirements.

"She would always come home sweaty," said Janna Pineda, whose mother was detained. "She would always tell me, 'You get your education, go somewhere, work, so you won't have to come over here and work where it's hot. You can be someone.'"

La Espiga de Oro management tells Eyewitness News the company is cooperating with immigration officials and handed over its employment information.

The factory has been operating since 1977.

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