PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ More than 800 service industry workers in the Portland area will lose their jobs in the next few weeks after a federal immigration audit found they lacked legal work papers, officials said Monday.

The layoffs are the result of a routine audit of Portland's service industry, said Anthony Ho, a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service investigator.

Officials reviewed paperwork for 3,306 employees and discovered 834 _ or 25 percent _ are in violation of immigration law, he said.

``The whole idea behind this is to remove the magnet of employment. We hope that if the jobs aren't there, they'll go back to their home countries,'' he said.

Hundreds of laid-off immigrants are expected to march through downtown Portland on Tuesday to protest the firings.

Eugenia Cortes, a Mexican national, said her family will be devastated when both she and her husband lose their janitorial jobs.

``Why are they telling me after 4 1/2 years of service to them, that suddenly on this day I can't work for them anymore? What am I going to do now with my family, with our expenses?'' said Cortes, 32.

The INS estimates there are about 50,000 illegal immigrants in Oregon.


On the Net:

Service Employees International Union: http://www.seiu49.org

INS: http://www.ins.usdoj.gov