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A slap on the wrist

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By Michelle Malkin  •  March 30, 2007 09:42 AM

Jerry Seper at the WashTimes reports that two execs of the Golden State Fence Company–hired by the U.S. government to help build a fence along the Southwest border to curb the flow of illegal aliens into the United States–have been sentenced on charges of hiring illegals for the job.

The judge in the case, and lots of folks in the administration, are patting themselves on the backs for finally taking employer sanctions seriously:

“Prosecution is long overdue in this area,” Judge Moskowitz said at sentencing. “Honestly, the government’s efforts have been at the border, not with the employer. Obviously, the government has signaled a change with this case.”

The company agreed separately to pay $5 million on a misdemeanor count — one of the largest penalties ever imposed on an employer for immigration violations, Seper reports.

But guess what?

The execs received a slap on the wrist. Instead of the maximum five years in jail, each received six months’ home detention. The company had been warned in 1999 that it had illegal aliens on the payroll. Five years later, it was still employing scores of illegal aliens.

The outrageous symbolism alone of a border fence-building firm employing illegal aliens should have been enough to warrant the maximum penalty.
Instead, it’s a slap on the wrist for the company’s slap in the face of the law. Prosecutors and the judge are satisfied the sentence will send a message.

Message: Employer sanctions are still, by and large, a joke.

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Related: Illegal aliens arrested in Balitmore-area raids, employers not

Matt Johnston smells catch-and-release.

Related: Chris Kelly looks at a new White House illegal alien amnesty powerpoint presentation.

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