Jeff Smith 6 p.m., Feb. 27
French Gourmet bust makes the NY Times
Today's NYT food section has a full page article about the ICE bust of The French Gourmet. (Yes, the case is still pending.) The gist of the article is that the bust is a huge warning shot fired at the whole restaurant industry nationwide. There's also an interview with an anymous restaurant owner in NYC who admitted to relying on undocumented workers to keep his restaurant going. (They're slightly cheaper, harder working, more willing to learn, was his viewpoint.) Various percentage figures were thrown around in the article, but overall, seems like about 20% of kitchen workers (chefs, sous, prep cooks, etc.) are undocumented.
Michel Malecon and his partner are threatened with 30-years in prison (that's the equivalent of a life sentence, given that they're middle-aged) as well as huge fines and forfieture of the restaurant and an adjoining property. What would they get for sentences if they merely killed somebody by drunken driving, or raped a teenager? ICE, man, that's cold!