A number of individuals were escorted off the site of the Hastings Racecourse on Monday morning, according to a written statement from the track.
In the statement, Darren MacDonald, general manager of the racecourse, said that he had been informed that Canada Border Services Agency was on site and "escorted a number of individuals employed by various horse owners off site."
He wrote that individuals were working in the backstretch "under the employment and supervision of various horse owners and trainers that are stabled at Hastings Racecourse to race."
A backstretch is the area adjacent to a racetrack where the horses are stabled.
Macdonald said the owners and trainers are not affiliated with the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation and are not employees of the racecourse.
In a statement, the CBSA said it was "conducting investigations related to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act at the Hastings Race Course in Vancouver today."
"The CBSA conducts enforcement actions when it is believed that a contravention of the Customs Act or the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act has occurred."
Journalist Marcella Bernardo tweeted that she spoke to a colleague of the men “taken away in handcuffs” and she believed the Mexican workers had proper documentation to be in Canada.
Just off phone with co-worker of 4 men taken away in handcuffs this morning @HastingsRaces. Sara tells @NEWS1130 they are all from #Mexico and she believes they have proper paperwork to be in #Canada. She says watching #CBSA agents move in was "de-humanizing." @NEWS1130— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) August 20, 2019
She said it was “de-humanizing” to watch CBSA agents take them away in handcuffs.
The CBSA declined to comment on the specifics of the case because it is an ongoing investigation.