Going to Jail for Hiring Better Workers

Hard to believe, but it looks like a number of local business people are going to go to jail for trying to hire the workers who served their customers best:

Workers hired at Danny’s Family Car Wash to replace scores of suspected illegal immigrants proved so problematic that the company’s top executives ordered lower-level managers to bring back the original laborers, two of the managers say in court documents.

As part of plea agreements that could cut their own time behind bars, Oscar Ivan Aguilar-Gastelum and Miguel Mejia-Estrada said that Danny’s fired suspected illegal workers in April 2011 after a government audit and replaced them with new employees. However, the new hires generated complaints, and Aguilar-Gastelum said in court papers that he was instructed to start rehiring the employees who had just been fired...

Aguilar-Gastelum and Mejia-Estrada each face up to five years in prison for conspiracy, though their cooperation and other factors could significantly reduce their eventual sentences. Both men have had their sentencing delayed at least three months as the government investigates any information they have offered in the case.


  1. Che is dead:

    "the new hires generated complaints ..."

    Funny, I have a few complaints concerning their illegal workers - I don't like paying for their children's education, or the additional expense of increased policing in their communities. I don't like paying for their use of the local emergency rooms for their health care, or for food stamps when they spawn an "anchor baby". Add to that the fraud, identity theft and tax evasion that comes with their being here and I really don't care if Oscar and Miguel spend the next decade behind bars and lose their business.

  2. mesocyclone:

    I'm with commenter Best. Illegal immigrants are illegally here. They are violating our national sovereignty and their massive influx threatens the what's left of the culture that America rests on. If you don't like it, well, it's a democracy. Change the system, don't advocate illegal behavior by employers!

  3. marque2:

    There might be some other side story as well. Even for washing cars it takes a few months to get everyone up to speed. Normally you only lose one or two employees at a time, so it seems smoother, but when you lose a lot at once, you need to step up and do some training.
    Seems to me like the owner was using "lack of skills" as an excuse to bring back cheaper labor.
    In other words, I don't buy it.
    In fact - I lived in Iowa a few years back, and was shocked and surprised at the jobs that I was told when I lived in California, Americans just wouldn't do, all seemed to be done by well Americans. Now they could have been illegal white folks - I didn't ask for their domestic work papers.
    Even more sad - there was a Kosher chicken processing plant in Postville IA, that was shut down due to illegals, but they had other problems as well - they were basically putting these people under indentured servitude, were beating them for making mistakes, hiring kids for meat processing that were under 14 - but when the feds swooped in we got all the pro illegal groups, crying how this would split families, and it was right to force these people out of jobs. to which I say - YOU IDIOTS WEREN'T YOU PAYING ATTENTION - YOU ARE SUPPORTING SLAVERY! Anyway, the plant is open again, and is being worked by Americans, who are mostly black now, and they are being paid about $1 more per hour. (Hmm illegals displacing poor blacks - something else we were told doesn't happen)

  4. Skeptical:

    Could you please refrence the URL and article where you are getting this information from? Thanks

  5. marque2:

    Seems like commenter Best has been expunged for not following the greedy corporatist line - man.

  6. skeptical:

    Sorry missed link. reading now...Title seems a tad misleading?? From all of the articles out on the web on this place of business it sounds as if they were operating shady to begin with? They were under investigation for hiring illegals, even assisting in making up fake documentation and operating overall pretty questionably? The owners were already going to jail but not for trying to hire good workers to replace the illegals as you imply....

  7. norse:

    There is something to be said that arguing just with "it's the law" misses a lot of valid points about contemporary America (there are plenty of laws, some of them well written, others not so much (hint: there's an spat about one going on in the Capital right now)). In addition to that, laws are very unevenly enforced (think folks going to prison for theft of food vs industry tycoons going unprosecuted for SEC violations causing billions of dollars of damage, or, for a less dramatic but more frequently occuring example, lack of speeding tickets for law enforcement).

    Employers ought to be free and unconstrained in their hiring and firing decisions. Having a bunch of laws that ensure that anyone working contributes in terms of taxes etc. is the way to regulate here, not removing the possibility of legal employment. Why? Just think for a moment about what removing a possibility for *legal* employment for folks who are here unlawfully but who are, after all *here* implies... employment in a less than legal way. There are plenty of jobs in gangs that don't come with federal requirements, and I'd rather see fewer people working *those*.

  8. MNHawk:

    Maybe if the car wash paid a better wage, to attract a better quality, LEGAL employee, they wouldn't have such problems?

  9. ErikTheRed:

    Man, the conservative knives always come out when it comes to illegal immigration. Here's my perspective as somebody that pays a fairly hefty tax bill and lives five minutes from the US-Mexico border, is married to a legal immigrant, and knows a whole lot of immigrants (mostly legal, but probably not all):

    The number of illegal immigrants who have taken money from me to go to school here: zero.
    The number of illegal immigrants who have taken money from me for welfare: zero.
    The number of illegal immigrants who have taken "my" job: zero.
    The number of illegal immigrants who have taken money from me for anything other than work: zero.

    Now, as it turns out, a bunch of thieving assholes in Washington and Sacramento have taken a whole bunch of money from me, some portion of which has been offered to illegal immigrants, some portion of whom accepted it. I don't see this as anything more evil or banal than then giving money to American welfare leeches (most of whom have never paid significant taxes either), or crony corporations run by billionaire partisan donors like Solyndra, etc. (I could go on for pages). What is sad is that Republicans have thrown in the towel and have given up on fighting the thieving assholes and instead content themselves in a fury of "righteous" indignation at a bunch of poor brown people. What a bunch of tough guys. It's like the Founding Fathers saying "Well, you know, the British are taxing us and taking away our rights but they're too big and scary to fight so we'll get mad at those stupid squirrels, keep running onto our land and stealing our nuts."

  10. marque2:

    The problem is that our Domestic workers are treated unfairly. You tell a Black kid you have to work for $7.50 an hour and then let the car wash person hire hispanics for $5.00, ignoring OSHA, and retirement (SSA), healthcare, and labor taxes as well.

    Another issue is that we should be able to verify who is here to some extent. I don't know how true it is, but I hear that Al Queda is sending folks over the southern border all the time. More seriously criminals from pretty serious Mexican and El Salvidoran gangs are also wantonly crossing the border. We have illegal aliens working for those gangs burning down our forests as well.

    Finally as long as we have 14% unemployment and have plenty of low skilled workers here who are disproportionately unemployed, we really don't need to be importing low skilled workers from elsewhere. Because it costs us twice - we have to pay welfare for the unemployed domestics, and then we have to pay for extra services for the underpaid illegals. If we have a true shortage of low skilled workers, then come talk to me and we work something out.

  11. norse:

    I completely concur with the points you make (ie hold every employee to the same standards, fine employers who don't conform; note that I'd prefer no minimum wage and freedom to contract, but that's a different discussion). I'll also grant that plenty of criminal minds enter the US any given day. Given past history, I'd expect Al Quaeda to book business or first class flights, though. The sad reality of US unemployment is that as long as we do have a minimum wage, some jobs cannot be filled with US citizens because it'd be uneconomical. That said, folks who are working (and spending money on rent, food and services) as well as lowering the price of construction/car washes etc. are a net benefit compared to people forced out of said jobs and now working as drug dealers or professional burglars.

  12. mesocyclone:

    The problem with this viewpoint is that it creates additional incentives for uncontrolled immigration, something that is a significant threat to America.

    People say that America is the land of immigrants, but actually, it is the land of "assimilated" immigrants. That is no longer true. Far too many of the hispanic immigrants and multiple generations of their children do not assimilate; rather, they form a dysfunctional inner city gang/crime culture. Note that this true for the kids (often far more than the parents) even though the kids *are* often legal because they are born here. I suspect a significant cause of this is the very high rate of immigration, making it far easier to not assimilate. After all, when you go to Home Depot, you see lots of signs in Spanish, but you don't see any in Vietnamese or Romanian.

    The problem is not the quality of work - many of these immigrants are good people, working hard for the benefit of their family. But if you go to LA, or parts of Phoenix, you can find gangs whose members are third and fourth generation descendants of immigrants. That is very bad news for our society.

  13. marque2:

    Leftist stupidity knows no bounds. In California the border is so porous that Mexicans living in Mexico are sending their kids to California public school they have found schools where the majority do not live in CA. Whether you pretend or not - this is taking money from the rest of us and giving to folks who shouldn't get it.