Should these employers of gotten some prison time for hiring illegals remember the engine rebuilding company?

SEATTLE (AP) - Two owners of an engine rebuilding company that was raided in January, raising questions about federal policies on illegal immigrants, were sentenced Monday to a year on probation and their business must pay a $100,000 fine.

Shafique Amirali Dhanani and Shirin Dhanani Makala, corporate directors, managers and two owners of family-owned Yamato Engine Specialists 1990 Ltd. of Bellingham, Wash., were spared prison time, fines and restitution in plea agreements followed to the letter by U.S. District Judge James L. Robart.

A guilty plea was entered earlier Monday for Yamato, which agreed to pay half the fine immediately and the balance by Dec. 31. The company also must take out a half-page advertisement in the Bellingham Herald to describe how it got into hot water for hiring undocumented workers.

"These are not the most serious crimes. They are not the most violent crimes. They don't involve guns or drugs," Robart said, "but they are important ... this is a serious matter."

Dhanani and Makala, a brother and sister from a hardworking family that left Uganda decades ago, pleaded guilty in August. They could have faced at least five years in prison and fines of $250,000, and the company could have been fined $500,000.

Robart said the fine and "substantial publicity" were significant punishment for the company and the stigma of felony convictions would be sufficient deterrence against future violations by other business owners as well as by Dhanani, the company's production manager, and Makala, manager of human resources. Both have insisted they never intended to violate the law.

Yamato was the first company to be raided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents after President Obama took office calling for more prosecution of businesses that hire undocumented workers. A review was subsequently ordered by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who said she had not been informed of the raid in advance.

Of the 28 workers who were arrested on Feb. 24, one is known to have returned to Mexico and the rest were given temporary work permits to remain in the country pending the conclusion of the criminal case.

With the sentencing, the permits have expired and all 27 now face deportation proceedings that could extend for "upwards of several months," said Lori Dankers, an ICE spokeswoman.

After the proceedings, Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald M. Reno Jr., shook hands with the defendants and the rest of the Yamato owners and wished them good luck.

"You represent everything that's great about America," Reno said.

On the advice of their lawyers, members of the family would not comment after the proceedings. Lawrence B. Finegold, a lawyer for Dhanani, said Yamato remains in operation but would not comment on the state of the business.

The case was "a hybrid" in which the investigation was conducted and initial warrants were issued under Bush administration guidelines while the raid in February and subsequent legal proceedings occurred after Obama took office, he said outside the courtroom.

He explained that under the new rules, warrants for immigration raids must be sought from the criminal side of U.S. attorneys' offices and show probable cause to believe that violations have occurred, but the Bush administration allowed ICE to obtain civil warrants under a less restrictive standard.

At the same time, Reno said the practical effect was "just a fine line of words, rather than the reality."

To charge and convict an employer of knowingly hiring undocumented workers, encouraging illegal entry into the United States and other immigration-related offenses still requires the arrest, confinement and questioning of the employees to obtain evidence, he said.

"The most convincing part of that proof comes from illegal aliens," Reno said.

"It's going to be just as disruptive to the illegal aliens," he added. "That's not going to change." http://www.komonews.com/news/local/60097852.html

8 Answers

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  • ?
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    all 27 should have been deported on the spot. he should have received a jail sentence and a higher fine. I do like the idea of him having to put an article in the paper about his crime and the punishment he received.

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  • That part about encouaging illegal entry made me spit my water out. I mean I tried to hold it back but. Do you realize how far away from the Mexican border bellingham is? Bellingham Washington borders with Canada. Like a 20 min. Drive. This town does not encourage people to immigrate from Mexico. However the peeps are already illegally here by the time they hit WA. state.

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  • 4 years ago

    "According to the Globe, the attorney general's office never asks about a worker's citizenship status because officials claim their intention is to enforce state law – not federal immigration law. Steve Kropper, cochair of Massachusetts Citizens for Immigration Reform, said illegals are not entitled to minimum wage because they are not citizens. "No government resources should be devoted to the rights of people who are here illegally," he said. "They broke the law by being here. They had no right to the job."" Slavery is legal? The company should be fined and the illegal immigrant refunded and deported. The whole reason companies hire illegal immigrants is to pay the worker under minimum wage. The illegal immigrant should already know this, which companies will stop hiring illegal immigrants if they are forced to pay illegal immigrants equal pay.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I agree with the fine ,you don't want to bankrupt a company but you

    want it to hurt to the point they mend their greedy ways,

    as for the illegal aliens they should be deported for life and if caught

    in the US again give them 20 years to think about it in the Federal

    Pen where they can work for 10 pecos an hour.

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  • Evie B
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I think they should have gotten stiffer penalties with the realization that if they did it again they would lose their business license and they would go to jail! We need to send a message to all employers that if they willfully break the law by hiring illegal aliens they will be punished to the full extent of the law!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It's a joke! I will guarantee you that the company saved a he!! of a lot more money by paying substandard wages and not paying taxes, insurance,WC, etc.

    "You represent everything that's great about America," Reno said.

    I guess reno thinks screwing the American public is what's great about America! What an @ss!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Jail needs to be saved for violent offenders or second offenders for crimes like this. By taking away the extra profit they made by hiring illegals, they have been punished.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No and no.

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