According to a story last week in Syracuse.com, the online connection to The Post-Standard newspaper in Syracuse, New York,
“The owners of a Pennsylvania construction company face up to 10 years in prison, a fine up to $250,000 and other penalties for using illegal aliens on a theater reconstruction job at ShoppingTown Mall in DeWitt.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Syracuse reported that the contractors pled guilty to “conspiracy to conceal, harbor and shield illegal aliens from detection for commercial advantage and private gain”.
LTCI Ltd, owned by Anthony and John Cimino, hired the illegals to remodel the movie theater at a local shopping mall and paid them cash, "off the books" and in doing so avoided paying taxes or benefits to the workers. Not only were the workers being misclassified under the New York laws, they were cheated out of their benefits. The article reports that the Ciminos will turn over $223,000 of profit they made using the illegals as well as $300,000 of payroll taxes which they failed to report and an additional $225,000 in penalties for these offences.
Even if Congress will not move forward on an immigration reform bill, a number of states are moving forward on this issue. The Texas Legislature, which is in session every other year, is currently considering laws that would help prevent the hiring of illegals and the use of misclassification to avoid paying workers as employees. One bill is currently out of committee and will head to the floor of the House as soon as the Calendars committee will schedule it for a hearing. It is time for the legislature to take some positive action on this issue.