A Michigan dairy farmer will spend the next couple of years in a federal prison for hiring undocumented immigrants. Dairy farmer Denis Burke was also fined $187,500.
Denis and Madeline Burke own Parisville Dairy in Huron County and Dunganstown Dairy in Tuscola County. Between February 2008 and May 2013, the couple hired and harbored more than 100 undocumented immigrants to work on their farms, Denis Burke’s plea agreement states.
U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Ludington sentenced Denis Burke to two years in prison, followed by two years of supervised release on Thursday, January 4. Ludington did not order Burke taken into custody but gave him time to self-report to the U.S. Marshals Services.
Burke pleaded guilty in September to knowingly harboring illegal aliens for private gain and/or commercial advantage. In exchange for his plea, the prosecution dismissed four more counts of the same charge. Burke’s wife, and co-defendant, Madeline Burke also plead guilty in June for one count of hiring without verification of employment eligibility. She received two years’ probation and was also ordered to pay the same fine as her husband in monthly installments of $15,600.
According to MLive, some of the undocumented immigrants were hired by the Burkes on multiple occasions, using different names or Social Security numbers, according to the release. The defendants induced the undocumented immigrants to reside in the U.S. by providing them with employment and free housing on the farm, away from scrutiny by immigration authorities and the surrounding community.
“HSI is committed to aggressively investigating individuals and businesses who allegedly hire and harbor illegal workers to gain an unfair economic advantage,” said Marlon Miller, the special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations Detroit in a statement. “HSI simply will not turn a blind eye to employers who shirk their responsibility to maintain a legal workforce.”
So the lesson here is to think twice before hiring anyone. Because the government doesn’t want you committing any voluntary interactions without their consent. Especially not to gain an economic advantage.
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