Three New Bedford seafood processing plants are among 17 companies fined by U-S Immigration and Customs Enforcement for hiring illegal workers, and other violations. According to a release on the agency's website, the Norpel Group of New Bedford was fined $151,000.  Cap Seafood of New Bedford was fined $9,800 and Pier Fish Company of New Bedford was fined $2,200.

Special Agent In Charge Bruce Foucart says his agency will continue to focus attention on employers that are knowingly employing illegal workers.  Attorney Chris Saunders, who represents Pier Fish, tells the New Bedford Standard-Times the firm did not hire illegal workers, but was fined for errors in completing paperwork required by I-C-E.

In the latest crackdown, the 17 firms were fined a total of $349,000 for various employment violations.