news/US: Gwinnett firm pleads guilty to harboring illegal

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Subject: news/US: Gwinnett firm pleads guilty to harboring illegal
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Fri Nov 26 1999 - 18:57:07 EST


Gwinnett firm pleads guilty to harboring illegal immigrants
By Mark Bixler
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, November 24, 1999

A Lawrenceville company that brings foreign nationals here to work on Y2K
computer problems pleaded guilty Tuesday to harboring illegal immigrants.
Investigators said the company schemed to bring at least 43 programmers
>from India to Atlanta.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service said Deep Sai Consulting Inc.
got visas for the 43 and promised to find them jobs paying $40,000 to
$60,000 a year. It said most of the 43 ended up in apartments in Duluth and
Norcross, waiting for work that never came.

Larry Hines, INS investigations section chief, said he thinks "there are a
lot of companies that know they can do this. It's nothing but white-collar
alien smuggling."

INS Agent Chad Holth said Deep Sai's president, Syamala Kamineni, applied
for visas for more than 200 Indian nationals. The government approved about
60 applications before it started to investigate. It made no decision on
the other applications pending a yearlong investigation by the INS and U.S.
Department of Labor.

Jay Strongwater, attorney for Deep Sai and Kamineni, said he expects a
judge to fine the company about $20,000. The company pleaded guilty to a
felony in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. Last week, Kamineni pleaded
guilty to a misdemeanor alleging she recruited immigrants not eligible to
work here. A judge put her on probation for a year.

Kamineni said she lined up jobs for the people from India but that the
market soured and job prospects dissolved by the time they arrived. The
government said about a dozen of the 43 Indians eventually got programming
jobs. Another 30 got tired of waiting and left to seek jobs on their own.
Investigators do not know what became of them.

Melanie Orhant

morhant@igc.org
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