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La Jolla's French Gourmet Restaurant, along with its owner Michel Malecot and manager Richard Kauffmann, pleaded guilty today (Oct. 13) to hiring at least ten illegal aliens in the 2006-2007 period. The company hired undocumented workers beginning in 2003 even after being fined in the 1990s for the practice, and being challenged by the Social Security Administration because employees' names did not match the Social Security numbers on tax returns. Kauffmann admitted knowing that the undocumented workers were not citizens of the U.S. Malecot admitted that he knew that at least seven employees were not authorized to work in the U.S. Kauffmann faces five years in custody and Malecot at least six months. The restaurant and Malecot will forfeit between $350,000 and $650,000. The exact amount will be determined later.

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Comments

Visduh Oct. 14, 2011 @ 8:48 a.m.

The rarity of such prosecutions makes one think that this was a highly selective prosecution. Malecot is probably a most unsympathetic figure, and the fact that his business had been busted before for the same sort of thing makes this prosecution a bit understandable. But there are literally hundreds of business establishments in the region that similarly rely on illegal alien amployees. Why are no more prosecuted? It appears a simple matter to detect that sort of thing. If anyone seriously intended to enforce immigration law, we would see not a handful of such prosecutions in a decade but several every WEEK.

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Don Bauder Oct. 14, 2011 @ 8:53 a.m.

You ask an excellent question: why aren't more employers arrested in the U.S.? Dealing harshly with employers, not employees, could eliminate the problem. Similarly, why does the U.S. destroy crops in Colombia but not in Northern California? You know the answer. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Oct. 14, 2011 @ 9:51 a.m.

The DOJ is ramping up these prosecutions all over the country. The purpose is not to deter the hiring of undocumented immigrants, but rather, to scare the hell out of employers. The theory is that scared employers will flood Congress with money and exert enormous pressure on Congress to pass an amnesty bill. These prosecutions are not what they seem.

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Don Bauder Oct. 14, 2011 @ 12:03 p.m.

Interesting view, and very possibly correct. If you are right, Democrats would seem to be beneficiaries. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Oct. 14, 2011 @ 10:01 a.m.

It's difficult for me to distinguish Malecot's actions from those of Qualcomm. Qualcomm represents, apparently falsely, that it must hire Inidan engineers under the H1-B visa program because there is a shortage of engineers in the U.S. Qualcomm's exploitation of the visa program comes at a time when top UCSD engineering graduates are working at Starbucks because there's no work in their field. I think the situation at Qualcomm is spiralling out of control and should be investigated by the DOJ.

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Don Bauder Oct. 14, 2011 @ 12:05 p.m.

Good point, but the H1-B program is legal. There is some bending and some breaking of the rules, but government backs the program. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Oct. 14, 2011 @ 12:37 p.m.

The employer is required to certify under penalty of perjury that a foreigner was hired because the employer could not find an applicant in the U.S with the required job skills. This is clearly not the case with Qualcomm as there are plenty of unemployed Americans with the job skills Qualcomm requires. I believe that the DOJ could pursue a RICO case against Qualcomm, shut the company down, and seize its assets and all the cash it has stashed in offshore tax havens. If the DOJ takes this action we might be able to save Balboa Park in the process.

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Don Bauder Oct. 14, 2011 @ 2:47 p.m.

Qualcomm is one of the biggest users of the H1-B program, but not the largest. So there would be other fish to fry, too. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Oct. 18, 2011 @ 6:30 a.m.

Selective prosecution is afoul of the Equal Protection clause.

That it is common does not make it right.

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Don Bauder Oct. 18, 2011 @ 8:24 a.m.

Agreed. But selective prosecution goes on all the time. The word is "precedent." Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 18, 2011 @ 4:16 p.m.

You will never get an EQ violatin in selective prosecution, even if the stats priove it up, unless you can PROVE the legislatures wrote it into the law, facially (never happens) or you can prove their intent for it to be selective (will never happen).

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Twister Oct. 19, 2011 @ 6:57 p.m.

As I said, "That it is common does not make it right."

The law is nothing but a signpost of the "failure" of social mores; more accurately their usurpation by authoritarian hierarchies.

That is, there is much that is criminal, but not "perfectly" illegal. This is a prime reason why the law, the police, and "lawyers" are so widely resented, if not actually hated. And "goon-squad" activity by the predominant mercenaries among them undermines the "respect" (read "fear of") the obsession with "precedent" that permeates the injudicial system. "They" are trying to undermine the "inconvenient" provisions of the Constitution like the initiative process and jury nullification. Similarly, watch how history will soon repeat itself with the FBI and other secret police infiltrate the "99-percenter" movement with agitators to discredit it and We, the People. Then wait for the National Guard to start spraying lead. That's precedent!

Re: By SurfPuppy619 4:16 p.m., Oct 18, 2011

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