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The State

A Madera farm labor contracting firm accused of more than 330 violations of the 1986 Immigration Control and Reform Act is the first agricultural business in the nation to be fined under the law, federal officials said. S&A; Farm Contractors of Madera was fined $153,250 for reportedly employing 27 illegal aliens who were arrested during Border Patrol sweeps in January, said J. William Carter, chief of the Border Patrol office in Livermore. Agents later reviewed employment verification forms and found that 246 of 399 forms on file at the firm were not completed, Carter said. An employer who knowingly hires an illegal alien can be fined from $250 to $10,000 per offense, and failure to maintain proper employment verification forms carries fines ranging from $100 to $1,000, INS officials said.


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