DECEMBER 15, 2006
Federal authorities rarely bring criminal charges against companies that employ illegal immigrants, but they have done just that to a huge Southern California fence company that, ironically, is building some of the border fence between San Diego and Mexico.
Headquartered in Riverside California, Golden State Fence Co. is a multi million-dollar company that bills itself as the “home of the American dream” and for years has knowingly employed illegal immigrants. In fact, U.S. Government agents raided the company last year and found that 110 of its 750 employees were illegal aliens, including several that the company had been ordered not to employ after a 1999 government audit.
Like many companies that disregard immigration law, Golden State Fence Co., continued to capitalize on the cheap labor provided by illegal immigrants to boost its profits from $60 million in 1998 to $150 million in 2004. Besides building fences for military bases, one of the company’s big projects was constructing part of a 14-mile border fence between San Diego and Mexico in the late 1990s.
Apparently tired of being disregarded, federal authorities finally charged the company’s owners $5 million for knowingly hiring dozens of illegal immigrants and two top executives could face jail time for the repeated violations. The company’s founder and one of its top managers will pay additional fines for admitting that they knowingly hired at least 10 illegal immigrants.
Overall, Golden State Fence CO. employed more than 100 illegal aliens in a five-year period and continued to hire those in the county illegally even after government audits discovered the violations. Perhaps government officials have finally figured out that the illegal immigration crisis is partially created and sustained by employers who hire the aliens.
One political blog points out the obvious; building fences to keep out illegal immigrants won’t work unless we also go after the companies that employ them. As long as there are jobs and government benefits to be had, people will find a way to come and get them.
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