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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 06:34 AM
Original message
Man facing 30 years in prison, $4 million in fines and business seizure for hiring illegal
immigrants.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/dining/08crackdown.ht...

FOR a man facing the possibility of up to 30 years in prison, almost $4 million in fines and the government seizure of his small French restaurant here, Michel Malecot has an unusually jovial and serene air.

An immigrant from the South of France, he came here in 1972, settling in San Diego because he said the climate reminded him of home. And now it is the knotty issue of immigration that has made him a local cause clbre, thrust him into one of the nations most contentious debates, jeopardized his future and sent a current of fear through the $550-billion-plus restaurant industry.

In April, Mr. Malecot, 58, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of illegally hiring 12 undocumented immigrants and, in what prosecutors portray as a brazen deception, continuing to employ them after learning that they were in the country illegally. He pleaded not guilty. Now, if convicted, he faces the possibility of forfeiture of the restaurant building, along with an adjacent rental property, Froggys Bar. Legal experts say it would be an exceptionally stiff punishment, but one that could be a sign of things to come for an industry that is one of the nations largest employers of immigrants.

Under a policy that went into effect in April 2009, the Obama administration is taking a much tougher stance on employers who hire illegal immigrants than any administration in decades. Enforcement agents have subjected businesses across the country to much greater scrutiny, using tactics that were almost nonexistent until two years ago. Federal officials said they expected to announce record numbers of investigations and fines by the end of the year. As of July 31, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, had announced investigations of 2,073 businesses so far this year, outpacing the 1,461 conducted in all of 2009.
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 06:42 AM
Response to Original message
1. He must not have bribed the right people.
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 06:44 AM
Response to Original message
2. Going to prison for giving people jobs, what a disgusting story and thing to do
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 08:03 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. The crime is he KNOWINGLY gave jobs to illegal immigrants
I see you ignore that wording, it is like I went 90 mph through a school zone KNOWING I might hit a child. The punishment is well known, all he had to do was hire someone else, but then he would have had to pay a higher wage.

Lets be honest immigrants, both legal and illegal, are primary brought into the US to bring down wages. Are you will to take a 10-25% pay CUT so that these illegal workers can work? That is the cost to permit such illegal employment to occur, it brings down wages. Thus Obama is finally trying to do something in regards to the drop in income of at least 1/2 the population of this nation since 1981. He can do more, but the low birth rate of native born Americans should be forcing wages UP, but it is NOT for the business community complains of the "High Wages" and demand we leave immigrants in to bring down wages.

In Simple terms if it was NOT for Immigration, the low wages most Americans suffer from would be reversing about now do to the low birth rate. This is happening to a degree in Europe (Which gets a lot of illegal immigrants from Africa and the Mid-East do to the higher wages caused by the low birth rate). Things tend to average out, wages are low, people do NOT have Children, so in about 20 years you have a shortage of workers that drive up wages. The higher wages encourage higher number of births, which leads to lower wages 20 years later. You can see this during the Baby Boom. The US had a baby bust from about 1927-1946 do to the Great Depression (It hit rural areas first and then urban areas BEFORE the Stock Market Crash of 1929). This lead to a severe shortage of workers during WWII (WWII also increased the demand for workers, nothing is in isolation). That shortage lead to the Baby boom of 1947-1964. Economic problems starting in 1964 (Managed well by JFK and LBJ, then badly by Nixon, Ford, and Reagan) lead to the subsequent baby bust of the 1970s. That bust lead to some of the prosperity of the 1990s, but even then we had massive immigration do to "High wages" (This was one of the Side affects of LBJ's reform of immigration in 1967, permitting in more non-Europeans for the first time).

Sorry, the world has had a world economy since the days of Columbus. Yes, things will move overseas do to the world economy, but most work is done for internal use, i.e. running stores for people to buy from, making high tech, low labor requires items etc (and example of this is the Japanese making their cars in the US, why? the higher cost of American Labor is less then the cost of shipping the completed cars to America from cheaper wage areas).

We have to get wages up to save this economy, one step is immigration reform so that the number of immigrants do NOT adversely affect wages of people already in the US (and that includes people who have already immigrated into the US). Thus cracking down on people who KNOWINGLY hire illegal immigrants is a step in the right direction,
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 08:14 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. It couldn't be put any plainer
it pisses me off to no end when I see my friends lose their jobs because of cheap illegal immigrant employees coming here to work sometimes for nickels on the dollar. It sucks big time and I have no sympathy for the illegal workers at all. Oklahoma started cracking down on the practice a couple years ago and I can tell its making a difference both in Americans working and the quality of the work being performed.
The union foundry where my brother works closed a few years ago and reopened and when they reopened they were non union and using about an 80% illegal illegal workers but that didn't last long as the new owners seen real quick how foolish that was. Today they have not one worker that was not born here in the usa. Call it what you want anyone out there but I call it protecting our jobs.

and if you don't like my stand on this you can bit me
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. I saw that he knew what he was doing. I wasn't ignoring it. It isn't a concern.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. So you approve of scofflaws?
n/t
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cleanhippie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #2
21. Well, thats not exactly what is going on there, now is it?
But you already knew that.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 06:59 AM
Response to Original message
3. I hope the Wingnuts and Birthers are happy when a voice commands to them, "Papers, please."
"Okay. Now, prove that you are of pure American stock going back to 1776, or come with us."
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cleanhippie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #3
22. But cracking down on employers is the only way to STOP that from happening.
Edited on Wed Sep-08-10 10:36 AM by cleanhippie
You DO want to prevent the "papers, please" scenario and do something about illegal immigrants, right?
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. Half my neighbors don't have green cards. They don't bother me nearly as much
as the "USA, All The Way" chanting Boehners who by a tragic accident of birth happen to be born and vote here.

No, "cracking down on employers" is just another form of the same narrow-minded Nativism that goes back to the Know-Nothings, the KKK, and the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.



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cleanhippie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. Interesting.
I do not agree at all, in fact I feel you are badly mistaken, but you are entitled to your opinion.
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Cirque du So-What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 07:07 AM
Response to Original message
4. Look for an outcry from conservatroids
accusing the Obama administration of picking on the 'poor, downtrodden employers' who are responsible for creating the mass exodus of economic immigrants from south of the border in the first place. This isn't enigmatic at all: employers created the situation by actively recruiting workers to whom they could pay substandard wages and subject to dangerous working conditions. There's no 'which came first - the chicken or the egg' mystery at all. It was corporations seeking to fatten their bottom line with the cheapest labor they could find that triggered the mass migration of people seeking a better life in the first place - the same mass migration against which conservatroids fizz with rabies.

Thing is, I am disheartened to see such draconian measures being used against a sole proprietor such as the one featured in this story. Where are the threats of jailtime for the CEOs of Perdue & Hormel & Armour? The scale of violations in each of these companies is thousands of times larger than in this restaurant. Let's apply the label 'illegals' to corporations who break federal laws on a regular basis!

On a broader scale - wandering a bit off-topic - I believe NO workers need be subjected to conditions that cause carpal tunnel & a host of other work-related injuries. We need to ask why the meat-packing industries saw a need to recruit workers - even those without documentation - to keep production running. American citizens, who for the most part have a choice in where they draw a paycheck, decided that scraping the guts out of chickens for shitty wages was not a part of their American dream. For my part, I'd rather see consumers pay a higher price for their corporate meat than have the most powerless in our society suffer for everyone else's cheap prices and to fatten the bottom line of Big Meat.
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indepat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 07:19 AM
Response to Original message
5. When are the Feds going after all the others? Crucify this guy on a jagged cross, but let confessed
or known or highly suspected war criminals off the hook, scott-free, forevermore. Some equal protection under the law, some justice. :)
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CanonRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
8. When I seem them lock up the owners of meat packing plants
I'll really believe there's a crackdown. The big guys are all large Rethug donors, however...
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bahrbearian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. Right on
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
9. Wrong place
Edited on Wed Sep-08-10 09:01 AM by RB TexLa
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Rage for Order Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 09:20 AM
Response to Original message
12. Excellent
We have to start somewhere. Make an example out of this prick.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #12
18. Oh boy- yet another tough talker
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BlueCollar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 09:27 AM
Response to Original message
13. next stop...Marriott/Hyatt/Holiday Inn etc...
Then landscaping businesses with state and government contracts.
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bushisanidiot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
15. Going after the employers of illegal immigrants is EXACTLY the correct thing to do.
Jan Brewer's racist amendment is exactly the WRONG thing to do. It is not a crime to come to this country seeking work. It is a crime to hire desperate people just so you can save money by paying them SLAVE WAGES!! These companies need to be run out of business.

Good job, Mr. President!!!
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
16. Oh well. Someone is going to be the example. Sucks for him.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
17. Obama's "Justice" Department sure can get tough on the little guys
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
19. in much of California that's about like jailing someone for 30 years for intentional jay walking
The simple reality is that in California and a lot of other states, restaurants and businesses and a lot of ordinary middle class people knowingly hire illegal immigrants or just don't ask. It is so widespread that this attempt to make an example appears like personal persecution.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-08-10 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. Looks like menu prices are gong up
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