Federal immigration officials have ordered 24 Turkish students to leave the U.S. after they were found operating pedicabs illegally in downtown San Diego.
U-T San Diego reports the pedicab operators were detained after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents executed arrest warrants at four locations late last month. Fifteen have so far left the country.
The newspaper says the sweep exposed what agents suspect is a criminal ring that recruits young foreigners to supply cheap labor to pedicab owners.
Federal authorities made it unlawful for foreign students to drive pedicabs after an Illinois woman was killed three years ago after she tumbled from a cab and hit her head.
Police say the cab driver was a Turkish citizen who was operating in an area restricted to pedestrians.