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3 State Police janitors moved

Immigration status at issue

A cleaning company has reassigned three janitors who maintained some State Police barracks because of questions about their immigration status, the company said yesterday.

National Facility Services of Boylston reviewed the status of the eight custodians who clean 20 State Police barracks and facilities.

The review followed a report on July 2 in The Boston Globe that the company has employed scores of undocumented immigrants to clean government and commercial buildings. The National Facility Services organization has received more than $2.2 million in state contracts since 2000.

On the basis of the internal review, National Facility Services officials are ``double-checking the documentation of three employees who had been assigned to cleaning State Police facilities," a spokesman for the company, Raymond P. Howell , said last week in an e-mail message.

The janitors have been given other duties, said Howell, who gave no timetable for the follow-up review.

A State Police spokeswoman, Lieutenant Sharon Costine, said Thursday that federal immigration authorities had checked the status of the eight National Facility Services janitors cleaning State Police bathrooms, and that the authorities had determined that the eight people were all in the United States legally.

But those workers included three newly assigned janitors.

These janitors had replaced the custodians with immigration status questions, Howell said.

The Globe report had found that more than 80 percent of the 192 union janitors employed by the company in 2004 had questionable or bogus Social Security numbers. This, immigration specialists said, usually indicates that they are in the country illegally.

One of those workers had cleaned the State Police headquarters in Framingham as recently as February 2005, according to payroll records obtained by the Globe. A company lawyer said last month that the worker was no longer with National Facility Services.

Howell did not address yesterday whether the company had checked the immigration status specifically of the 162 workers identified by the Globe as having bogus or questionable Social Security numbers.

``In the wake of the Globe report and State Police review, National launched an internal review of its files and procedures, and the company and its attorneys are satisfied that it is in full compliance with all immigration laws," Howell said.

He added that the company has lost no contracts as a result of the Globe report. National Facility Services had been awarded contracts to clean the state Department of Fish and Game, the state Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, the Massachusetts Turnpike Fast Lane office in Auburn, and other government buildings.

The Globe ran the Social Security numbers of National Facility Services workers through three private databases.

Jonathan Saltzman can be reached at jsaltzman@globe.com.

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