Opinion

Our View: Punish companies that violate immigration laws

Two executives at Golden State Fence Co. were sentenced recently after pleading guilty in federal court to knowingly hiring illegal aliens. Ironically, the San Diego company once helped build a fence to keep illegal immigrants from crossing the Mexican border.

First, the company gets the contract to build the fence, then hired the people the fence was intended to keep out. Mel Kay, founder, chairman and president of Golden State Fence Co., and manager Michael McLaughlin have been ordered to each serve 1,040 hours of community service and spend three years on probation. Kay, 64, was fined $200,000 as part of a plea agreement, and McLaughlin, 42, agreed to pay $100,000. ...

The penalty for Golden State and its executives goes far beyond what sentence the federal court has handed down. The firm was banned from government work, which accounts for 30 percent of its revenue. ...

Convicting and punishing the U.S. companies that knowingly break our laws is the way to quell the flood of illegal workers. If they don't have jobs, they won't come here. We've made this point many times. Knocking the wind out of the profits of some of these multimillion-dollar companies and shining the spotlight of public scrutiny on their shameless executives will work. ...

The above editorial excerpt is from The El Dorado (Ark.) News-Times.

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