Hiring illegal aliens=bad idea

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07/07/2008
Okay, I'm back to blogging. I've spent the last week lounging by the side of a lake in Maine where there is no cell coverage nor Internet access and it was luxuriously relaxing. Also, we ran through five liters of Jameson, so other portions of the vacation are hazy. While I sort through 500+ emails, here's an update on Mace's car washes that just won't go away: Horsham-based car wash company Car Care Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Mace Security International, pleaded guilty June 24 to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. Oh, just one count. That's not that bad, really. From 2000 to 2006, Car Care managers at car washes in Norristown, Flourtown, Bryn Mawr and Cherry Hill, N.J., hired illegal workers by giving them false names and a way to cash their checks at local banks without identification, a press release said. "We're not talking about a few illegal workers who slipped through the cracks," U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan said in the press release. "To the contrary, dozens of illegal workers made up the majority of Car Care's workforce at these locations. This is harboring illegal aliens in its simplest form." According to the indictment, on a given day, illegal immigrants made up approximately 90 percent of the workforce at the locations. Hmmm, actually, that seems really bad. Seriously? Ninety percent? Each manager who pleaded guilty faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years' supervised release. Yikes. That's really bad. That career in car-washing is headed right down the tubes. Luckily for the security side of things, Mace ain't the military: Aside from one of the regional managers, no higher management was charged, Car Care defense attorney Eric Sitarchuk said. Not a whole lot of site visits going on, I guess. I know it doesn't have anything to do with security, but I'm fascinated by these car washes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey actively working to defraud the U.S. government. 1. Couldn't you just find some high school kids to work cheap? 2. Couldn't you just pay them in cash, so you didn't have to go through the whole fake-name check-cashing scheme? 3. Aren't car washes pretty cash-positive as a rule? Did you really need to hire 90 percent illegal aliens to turn a profit?

This all just seems so stupid. If Mace can't sell these car washes off soon enough, can they just make like a baseball team and designate the car washes for assignment? Put them on the disabled list? Offer them an outright release?