PRP accuses contractor of hiring illegal immigrants

Kyle Chock
Kyle Chock

KAPOLEI (KHNL) - A construction company is accused of using illegal immigrants on a project in West Oahu. The group Pacific Resource Partnership says federal authorities raided the job site and arrested nine workers.

Crews are hard at work at the future home of Hawaii Self Storage on Kamokila Boulevard in Kapolei. But one group says construction came to a halt recently, as immigration agents took eight adults and a minor into custody.

"We represent workers at the Hawaii Carpenter Union and right now, we've got about 20% of our workforce unemployed," Kyle Chock, Pacific Resource Partnership, said. "So we have local people who are playing by the rules, who follow all the rules, who aren't working at the expense of illegal immigrants who are coming here and not playing by the same rules."

A project manager for the general contractor, Ledcor US Pacific, denies the allegations.

"The only thing I can tell you is that, no, there was no illegal people and there was no arrest," the manager said. "There was nobody taken from this site."

He refers us to his company's main office, which doesn't return our call.

"We have nothing to hide on that," the project manager said.

"Why would you not want to say that on camera though?" this reporter asked.

"Because it's our company policy," he replied. "We don't make statements."

The Pacific Resource Partnership says federal authorities arrested 19 illegal workers with another Ledcor project, the Pinnacle condominiums in Downtown Honolulu, six months ago.

"It's problematic in the sense that it becomes a pattern of behavior," Chock said.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Honolulu didn't return our call. We're told the investigation is ongoing.