Michael Bianco, Inc of New Bedford, Massachusetts openly sought out and hired illegal aliens to manufacture goods under a federal contract for military equipment and for Coach Inc. and Timberline Co. The company had secured more than $91 million in military contracts.
Owner Francesco Insolia, 50, payroll manager Ana Figueroa, 40, plant manager Dilia Costa, 55 and office manager Gloria Melo, 41, were each charged with conspiring to encourage or induce illegal aliens to reside in the United States and Luis Tores, 45, was charged with the knowing transfer of fraudulent identification documents. As many as 500 illegal aliens were also arrested in the raid.
The 11 month investigation - dubbed Operation United Front - included an undercover ICE agent who was hired even though declaring they were illegally in the country. The payroll manager, Ana Figueroa, even instructed the agent on how and where to buy fraudulent documents like a Social Security card.
The exact number of undocumented workers arrested is unclear, but officials said the number could be as high as 500.
“It is understandable that many from around the globe would want to come to live, work and raise families here in the greatest democracy in the world. However, this must be done in compliance with U.S. immigration laws - not in violation of them,” Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan said in a statement. “Employer accountability is essential to ensuring the integrity of the nation’s immigration system and knowingly hiring illegal immigrants is a violation of law, plain and simple, and those responsible will be prosecuted.”
Why would the managers hire illegal workers? The government contends that the company “intentionally seeks out illegal aliens because they are more desperate to find employment, and are thus more likely to endure severe workplace conditions,” according to a statement.
The article details how the company abused and took advantage of employees at the company including these barbaric practices:
- docking of pay by 15 minutes for every minute an employee is late;
- fining employees $20 for spending more than two minutes in the restroom and firing for a subsequent infraction;
- providing one roll of toilet paper per restroom stall per day, typically resulting in the absence of toilet paper after only 40 minutes each day;
- fining employees $20 for leaving work area before break bell sounds;
- fining employees $20 for talking while working and firing for a subsequent infraction
Since 2001 Michael Bianco Inc. grew from 80 employees to 525, apparently mostly illegal aliens if you reference the above "rules". No legal worker would go to work for a company with those rules which violate labor laws.
These employers should have the full force of the enforcement laws thrown at them including maximum fines and jail time. It's time to put a stop to this.
Bear Creek Ledger
The Stein Report