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    :: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 ::

    Search for 'Poster Child' Employer Proves Elusive in Immigration Crackdown - By Elliot Spagat, AP via KPBS, CA
    That the government wanted to put Mel Kay behind a prison fence is an irony, though one that neither he nor his accusers would find amusing.

    Mel Kay builds fences. His was the largest fence-building company in Southern California; he rode the nation's housing boom to $150 million in annual sales. His fences are just about everywhere - at gated subdivisions, on military bases, at prisons.

    He even built fences at two immigration jails, a Border Patrol station and the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Which is the second irony, because he admits now that many of his company's fences were built by illegal immigrants. Federal authorities knew it, and they went after him tenaciously, determined to send him to prison as an example to other employers who hire undocumented workers.
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