Friday, December 15, 2006

A fence built with illegal labor

Oh, the irony.

A fence-building company in Southern California agrees to pay nearly $5 million in fines for hiring illegal immigrants. Two executives from the company may also serve jail time. The Golden State Fence Company's work includes some of the border fence between San Diego and Mexico.

After an immigration check in 1999 found undocumented workers on its payroll, Golden State promised to clean house. But when followup checks were made in 2004 and 2005, some of those same illegal workers were still on the job. In fact, U-S Attorney Carol Lam says as many as a third of the company's 750 workers may have been in the country illegally.

You've got to love the company pointing to its conviction as an example of why we need a guest-worker program. I don't have a philosophical problem with such a program, but it takes some chutzpah to argue that you knowingly kept illegals on the payroll because the government failed to provide enough legal immigrants.

Good to see the Feds going after the supply side of the problem, though, even if this is a rare, even token, case.

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