Thursday, December 14, 2006

A rare thing

This article from today's Washington Post details something that almost never happens: an employer has been charged for knowingly hiring undocumented immigrants. Ironically, it was the Golden State Fence Company. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. This the same company that helped build part of the 14-mile fence between San Diego and Tijuana in the late 1990s. It's safe to say that the wall ever does get built on our southern border (and I sincerely hope it does not), it is likely that undocumented workers will build it.

Here are the details of the story:
Mel Kay, the company's founder, chairman and president, and Michael McLaughlin, another executive, agreed to plead guilty to charges of harboring illegal aliens. Kay will pay $200,000 and McLaughlin will forfeit $100,000.

The deal included jail time, but the length of the terms was not immediately known.

Jail time is unusual in such cases and the fines were thought to be among the largest. Last year, Wal-Mart agreed to pay $11 million to end a federal probe into use of illegal immigrants at stores in 21 states.

It is extremely rare for a company to be criminally charged with hiring illegal immigrants, said Steven Camarota, research director of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C., a group that advocates tighter immigration controls.

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