Friday, August 29, 2008

Head of Shipley Donuts Pleads Guilty Following Immigration Raid

We have seen a flurry of immigration raids across the country in recent months, with effects ranging from changed demographics to entire communities to a need for new business tactics by factory and farm owners whose hiring practices had been unchallenged for decades. Texas certainly has not been without its own immigration controversies, and the makers of those delicious deep-fried treats that partner so perfectly with morning coffee have been caught in the net.

The President of Shipley Do-Nut Company, Lawrence Shipley (I'll bet that name isn't a coincidence), pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to the misdemeanor charge of employing undocumented workers. While the maximum penalty for this crime could have been six months in jail and $15,000 fine, Mr. Shipley received six months of probation and a $6000 fine. The company also has agreed to pay a $1.3 million fine in return for the federal government agreeing not to go after the housing owned by the company and used to house employees.

The charges answered by Mr. Shipley yesterday stemmed from a raid back in April at the company headquarters and warehouse complex in Houston. The request for proper immigration documents confirmed that forty percent of the workers caught in the raid were in the United States illegally. The efforts were led by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which has received mixed reviews from politicians and community leaders and has been the subject of previous blog posts here.

With the charged political environment right now in this country, you can expect that immigration raids will continue to occur and make headlines. At Bertolino LLP, we have attorneys who specialize in immigration law. If you find yourself involved in any type of immigration situation that requires legal counsel, please contact our Austin, San Antonio, or Houston office for assistance today.

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