P.M. BRIEFING : $150,000 Fine for Hiring Illegals

<i> From Times wire services </i>

The Immigration and Nationalization Service announced today that it has levied the largest fine in its history--$150,000--against a Madera labor contractor for knowingly hiring illegal aliens.

Howard Ezell, regional director of the INS, said the fine was also the agency’s first against an agricultural employer.

S & A Farm Contractors was fined $153,250 Wednesday. Ezell said U.S. border patrol agents visited the Central California firm in January and found that 91 of 160 employment verification forms had not been properly completed. That led to a check of payroll records that revealed that of 399 workers on the list, there were no verification forms on file for 246 of them.