Opinion: Fence company hired illegal immigrants


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How can the federal government tell that a fence alone won’t solve the illegal immigration problem? When a fence-building company says they need a guest worker program.

Executives of Golden State Fence pled guilty to hiring illegal immigrants. The executives may serve jail time in addition to paying nearly $5 million in fees. Their attorney told NPR that the case proves construction companies need guest workers.


This wasn’t any fence company. Golden State Fence had a hand in building San Diego’s border wall in the 1990s. The San Diego fence served as a model for the recently passed but still underfunded 700-mile border fence because it successfully stopped immigrants from crossing at points along its 14-mile stretch. But the fence simply pushed would-be immigrants to cross more perilous terrain in Arizona. (Table 36 of the Department of Homeland Security’s immigration statistics yearbook for 2005 shows the upticks in apprehensions at Yuma and Tuscon and the downward trends in San Diego and El Centro.) The southern border is about three times longer than the approved full border fence.

Jail time is rare for workplace violations such as this one, according to the Associated Press. Maybe the federal government doesn’t like irony.