Tag Archives: illegal immigration

California Republicans’ Illegal Immigration Scandal — The Jobs Americans Won’t Do

This is beyond funny:

The Canadian political operative hired by the California Republican Party on a coveted H1B visa to do campaign consulting has been fired after it was revealed he was apparently working in violation of immigration law.

The dismissal, announced this week, came after The Chronicle reported last month that Christopher Matthews apparently violated federal immigration law when he also earned money from a second employer.

So was he using the GOP to get into the country to really work for somebody else? Nope, he was double-dipping with the San Diego GOP to apparently break the law. Talk about heads exploding…

Sources said that some officials in the state GOP discussed hiring an immigration attorney to defend Matthews after the news stories revealed the apparent violation.

But that idea was scrapped after other party leaders argued that spending money to defend Matthews could subject state GOP officials – who have often been outspoken in their criticism of illegal immigration – to charges of hypocrisy.

“Would they have done that if his name was Mario Lopez?” asked one GOP official who was in on the discussions, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Of course, this story has to remind readers of the context:

This was the second time in recent months the state GOP has faced questions about hiring foreign workers who have been targeted by immigration officials.

Matthews was hired for his job by Michael Kamburowski, an Australian citizen who in 2007 was named the state GOP’s chief operations officer. Kamburowski resigned the $130,000-a-year post after The Chronicle reported last year that he had sued federal officials who jailed him in 2004 for alleged visa violations and attempted to deport him.

The Chronicle reported this week that federal court records also show that Kamburowski had no valid visa or work permit – and no legal right to stay in the United States – during the five years he worked as a high-profile lobbyist for conservative icon Grover Norquist, a longtime adviser to President Bush and other GOP leaders.

Californian’s Republican Party!

Field Poll: Legalize the Undocumented and Stop the Fence, Say Californians

Today brings us a new Field Poll on California’s attitudes toward immigration. It makes sobering reading for the bigoted Minuteman types and should remind us who support human rights for ALL Californians that we are in the majority. From the SF Chronicle article on the poll results:

Support among California voters for legalizing undocumented immigrants rose to 83 percent from 75 percent last April…California voters increasingly oppose a federal plan for 700 more miles of border fence — with just 37 percent favoring it this year, down from 47 percent last April, the Field Poll found.

What I really liked was this quote from Angela Kelley of the National Immigration Forum:

“You guys are the most informed because you live and breathe this,” she said of California, a state with an estimated 2.5 million illegal immigrants, where more than one in four residents is foreign-born.

As we all know, “most informed” is an unfortunately relative term, with way too many state residents holding bigoted views on the subject not supported by any evidence. Still, these numbers are not just strong, but overwhelming evidence that supporting a path to legalization is shared across the political spectrum. One might even call it “post-partisan” were folks inclined (and I am not).

I hope that a good immigration plan can be passed in Congress this year. If we have to wait until 2008 then there will be more temptation for politicians to be persuaded by the bigots and haters – even though their numbers are vastly overstated, as this Field Poll proves.

Fence Company hires Illegal Immigrants for Border Fence Deal

This story is just too good to be true. Despite how you may feel about the giant fence being built on our border with Mexico, it is hard to not see the hypocrisy that bursts at the seams in this story.


Melvin Kay and Michael McLaughlin, two Golden State Fence Co.  executives are facing the forfeiture of 4.7 million dollars and jailtime. Their crime was knowingly hiring illegal immigrants to build the barrier between the U.S. and Mexico. This story is a rarity because corporate executives usually get away with their illegal hiring practices while the only people that suffer consequences are those that are doing whatever they can to make a living in the U.S.

From the San Diego Union Tribune:


The admission by Riverside-based Golden State Fence Co. involves what a federal official said is the largest penalty brought against an employer in this type of criminal prosecution.


The case also is one of the few in which employers of illegal immigrants face prison, said Michael Unzueta, special agent in charge of the San Diego office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


“This is the largest criminal forfeiture in a work site case that I’m aware of,” said Unzueta, who asked his staff to research similar cases.


“Nobody can put their finger on another case where a corporate officer actually did jail time,” he said.

Everyone is in shock that the people doing the hiring are finally paying the price for their actions. Well kudos to the ICE for prosecuting the real criminals in this one instance.


More from NPR:


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.


Golden State Fence built millions of dollars’ worth of fencing around homes, offices, and military bases. Its president and one of its Southern California managers will pay fines totaling $300,000. The government is also recommending jail time for Melvin Kay and Michael McLaughlin, probably about six months

So it took seven years of raids for the Feds to get it that Golden State Fence Company didn’t feel like changing their practices. They kept promising to change their ways while lying through their teeth. Now, not only are the two execs looking at a huge loss of cash and a short six month stint in prison, but the manager will have to cough up $300K in fines.


If you clicked the link for Golden State Fence you see their nice looking website that shows little cute fences for homes in the Southern California region. They don’t announce it too loudly, but they also do the work for the U.S. Border Fence and military installations.


The Golden State website also posts this garbage on their website:

Golden State Fence Works to Ensure Legal Status of Employees


Maintaining a workforce that includes only citizens and legal residents of the United States is a challenge for all companies, especially those in the construction industry. Golden State Fence has taken a number of important steps to ensure that all its employees are legal residents. Since December 2005, Golden State Fence has voluntarily participated in the Basic Employment Verification Pilot program run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Through this program, all of our new employees are screened by the government to help verify their legal immigration status. Participation in the Basic Pilot Program has enabled Golden State Fence to verify the status of all new employees, while deterring those with fraudulent documents from applying for work.


Golden State Fence has also implemented intensive training workshops for all employees involved in the hiring process. Regular internal I-9 audits are conducted by an outside firm, providing our hiring and administrative staff with the information they need to do the best possible job of maintaining compliance with immigration regulations.


The company has conducted extensive outreach to hire legally documented workers, including recruitment through the State Unemployment Office, through military veteran employment agencies, community colleges and adult education schools.


An established procedure for responding to annual Social Security “No-Match” letters will also help to ensure our ability to reconcile any apparent record discrepancies.


The company holds it contractors and subcontractors equally accountable for their hiring practices, in keeping with the same high standards as Golden State Fence.


Golden State Fence encourages other companies in the fencing business to also participate in these government programs as this creates a level playing field in the industry and is the best way to reassure our customers that we are providing dependable service with legally documented workers.

However in the interest of fairness, the company’s lawyer had this to say:

Golden State Fence’s attorney, Richard Hirsch, admits his client broke the law. But he says the case proves that construction companies need a guest-worker program.

From now on, if the government wants to try and deal with laborers coming from Latin America and elsewhere to work in this country they better start with the crooked employers like Golden State Fence Co.


Update:CA Democrat provides useful information on these two crooks. Giving to the Republican Party….what a shock!

Crossposted at Joshing Politics