Has Obama Gone Bulworth on Alien Smuggling?
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For a quarter of a century the “largest farm labor contractor in the ,” described by an internal state memo in North Carolina as the impresario of “the largest alien smuggling ring in our nation’s history” according to Mother Jones magazine, has operated with impunity. He has done it right out in the open with state and federal government approval. His scheme has been successful during the first Bush administration, the Clinton administration, the second Bush administration, and during Barack Obama’s entire first term. Now, after an extended investigation of its own, Obama’s Department of Justice has, at long last, come down on him like a ton of bricks.
We are talking about Craig Stanford “Stan” Eury, Jr. of the little town of Vass, NC. On Friday, January 31 a federal grand jury in Greensboro, NC, handed down a 41-count indictment, running to 57 pages, for a variety of dodges in which he and his daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Farrell, allegedly illegally stockpiled mainly Mexican workers for assignment to U.S. employers of their choice, regardless of who they were legally committed to work for.
What the Justice Department has charged him with primarily is gaming the H-2B program, the federal arrangement for bringing in low-skilled non-agricultural workers to work in seasonal or otherwise temporary labor for less than a year. The idea behind it—that is to say the public rationale—is that foreign workers are brought in with special temporary visas for jobs that American citizens are not available to perform. Unlike its H-2A counterpart for agricultural workers, which has no cap, the H-2B program is capped at 66,000 per federal fiscal year.
The indictment is for multiple instances of fraud in the operation of the company International Labor Management Corporation (ILMC), which Eury founded in 1994 and turned over to Farrell in 2008. ILMC is engaged primarily in importing workers with H-2B visas. The indictment does not involve the much larger and older North Carolina Growers Association (NCGA), a non-profit organization run by Eury and whose operation has garnered most of the “alien smuggling” allegations through the years. Many of the counts leveled in the indictment relate to the unique nature of H-2B, with its cap, while the general nature of the alleged fraud is recognizable to those who have observed Eury’s dealings in the agricultural field through the years.
The fact that H-2B fraud and ILMC are targeted and not the far larger H-2A and NCGA may be regarded as tactical and not a sign that Obama’s Justice Department is merely aiming at the capillaries and not the jugular with its indictment. Blame is spread among all the members of the non-profit NCGA, of which, on paper, Eury is simply an employee. The target is clear in the case of ILMC. It’s just Eury and his daughter.
In examining the indictment, we see the Eury M.O. at work, whether it be for H-2A or H-2B workers. On page 11, paragraph 25, it is alleged that Eury and Farrell “falsely petitioned for and obtained extra H-2B Visas above and beyond the actual needs of their client employers for the purpose of creating pools of extra Visas.” “It was a further part of the conspiracy,” we find on page 12, paragraph 26, “that CRAIG STANFORD EURY, JR., and SARAH ELIZABETH FARRELL, through ILMC, falsely and fraudulently represented to the Department of Labor and USCIS that their client employers had jobs for H-2B workers in greater numbers than actually needed by the client employer.
The indictment is replete with details of how the fraud was carried out, but speaking of the Eury M.O., let us take note at this point of correspondence I have received from a longtime farm labor coordinator for North Carolina’s Employment Security Commission (NCESC) one of those State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) whose thankless job it is to assist American workers to find agricultural employment and farmers to find workers:
1. NCGA would always submit orders for the capacity of the farmer's camp. Many former cucumber growers would have camps with 20-40 person capacity. The farmer would actually be requesting less than half the camp capacity, primarily for the highly mechanized tobacco crop.
2. We would occasionally encounter farmers who said they had not ordered any workers but were on orders for workers. They had joined the NCGA as insurance in case their usual migrant workers weren't available.
3. We would see out of season orders such as tree planters in July. Tree planting is a cold weather activity.
4. We would occasionally see orders that appeared to be totally made up in that the name on the order was not that of a real employer or the address did not exist. When we reported this to the boss in Raleigh the order was quietly deleted with no explanation except that it was a typo.
5. Farmers would tell [U.S. citizen] workers whom we referred that they didn't need them even though they had signed an assurance that they would give preference to domestic over alien workers.
6. NCGA would initiate intimidation tactics against employment interviewers who dared refer workers. Interviewers who complained about these tactics were either given no support or punished by their employment service bosses. This served to effectively eliminate or severely depress referrals.
7. Dates on the orders would routinely run at least a month beyond the available work. This caused most workers to leave early letting NCGA pocket the return to Mexico transportation reimbursement that would have otherwise gone to the workers.
8. Our wage surveys would frequently reveal that the workers were getting less that the stated wage on the order.
Concerning #7, one should definitely not read into “leave early” the notion that workers left to go back to Mexico. Most of them don’t and soon join the ever-growing ranks of the illegal or “undocumented,” if you will. That’s what “legal” alien smuggling is all about.
Concerning #1, the main restraint on the H-2A “legal” alien smuggling operation is that farmers must provide housing for their foreign temporary workers. Back in 1998 the U.S. Congress proposed to liberalize the H-2A program by, among other things, eliminating the housing requirement. I wrote a series of six articles—the first was September 28; the last was October 18—opposing the legislation. They are in my Archive 2, starting with “Giant Trampling Sound.” Those articles supply a litany of ills of the H-2A program, some of which we discuss below, but first let us look a bit more at this big federal indictment.
One of my SWA contacts tells me that paragraph 45 on page 19, almost more than the others, belongs under the “suspicions confirmed” category. He recalls numerous incidents in which job seekers he had sent to various farms returned with the same rejection story, as though the farmers had been reading from the same script. It looks like they were, and it was written by Eury:
It was a further part of the conspiracy that CRAIG STANFORD EURY, JR., SARAH ELIZABETH FARRELL and ILMC employees acting at their direction instructed client employers how to conduct interviews for United States citizen workers in such a manner as to suppress the hiring of United States citizen workers, thereby allowing ILMC to profit from filling the jobs with H-2B workers while depriving United States citizen workers of the opportunity to secure those jobs.
Some of the things that the father and daughter are charged with are unique to H-2B with its national fiscal-year cap. The federal fiscal year begins on October 1. Even in the non-farm arena, most temporary increases in employment in and around North Carolina occur in the summer, associated with summer vacations. By the time ILMC could get the workers that they needed for warm weather work, the national quota could be filled. But the Eury team didn’t achieve its level of preeminence in the visa brokerage business without being creative and resourceful. Consider paragraphs 57 and 58 on pages 23 and 24:
Sometime in either June or July 2008, SARAH ELIZABETH FARRELL met with an ILMC client whose initials are S.P. to discuss the creation of “winter” companies to allow S.P. and ILMC to bring alien workers into the United States prior to the operation of the cap. To achieve this goal, S.P. created a “winter” company, Winterscapes, LLC.
Sometime in either June or July 2008, S.P. contacted SARAH ELIZABETH FARRELL to determine how many H-2B Visas he could request for Winterscapes, LLC, for the purpose of entering alien workers into the United States prior to the operation of the cap. SARAH ELIZABETH FARRELL instructed S.P. that he could request as many workers as he wanted, as Winterscapes, LLC, was a start-up company. SARAH ELIZABETH FARRELL did not inform S.P. that he could only legally petition for alien workers that were actually needed for specific positions at Winterscapes, LLC, and which could not be filled with American workers. Based on SARAH ELIZABETH FARRELL’s instructions, S.P. requested that ILMC petition for 150 snowmakers despite the fact that S.P. knew that jobs in North Carolina only existed for approximately twenty-five snowmakers.
Stan Eury’s pride and joy achieved perhaps her highest level of creativity with a particularly ambitious job request detailed in paragraph 70, which begins at the bottom of page 29:
On or about July 8, 2008, SARAH ELIZABETH FARRELL filed, or caused the filing of by employees of ILMC, a Form I-129, petition number EAC-09-201-51107, which petition falsely stated that Winterscapes, LLC, had jobs for 246 alien workers as janitors, such petition bearing the false signature and certification of an officer of Winterscapes, LLC, whose initials are S.P. SARAH ELIZABETH FARRELL knew at the time of the filing of the above petition that the majority of the “janitors” would be used to work at other jobs once they entered the United States under H-2B Visas obtained for Winterscapes, LLC.
A Perfect Storm in Tar Heel Land
How in the world did she think she could get by with such an obviously phony visa request? The answer must be that she and her dad had been permitted to get by with similar ruses for years. Here’s how my NCESC contact describes the situation:
The unique set of circumstances here in North Carolina that allowed Eury's malignant enterprises to metastasize could hardly have been duplicated elsewhere. The usual checks and balances, such as they were, were almost totally absent. For starters, the head of farm worker legal services was one mouse of a woman named Mary Lee Hall. Hall makes [UNC Chancellor] Carol Folt look like Joan of Arc. The two successive heads of USDOL's farm work investigative team here in NC were hard right-wingers who saw every dispute between employers and workers in classic liberal vs. conservative terms. They gave Eury all manner of cover. Pretty much everyone in my agency except for me and the guy in Greenville performed their jobs as if they were on Eury's payroll. Several ended up actually ON his payroll including one of my counterparts. Lastly, you had the spectacularly ineffective, 40-year veteran, state farm worker advocate who had the courage of the cowardly lion of Wizard of Oz fame. When he did attempt his meager efforts at whistle blowing, he was inarticulate and had trouble focusing on the central issues. He essentially played briar patch to Eury's rabbit. While Eury did indeed branch out into other states, his criminal enterprises never thrived elsewhere like they did here in NC.
As state governments go North Carolina perhaps has a somewhat better reputation than most when it come to corruption, or lack of same, but you will have to excuse me for noticing from my DC-area vantage point a somewhat familiar aroma. In this case it appears to be corruption grounded in a strong harmony of interests between Eury and powerful agribusinesses. As another of my SWA contacts pithily put it, “Many growers only feel that they have adequate labor when three men are available for one job.” What Eury has been up to all these years, he went on, is only a part of “a concerted and successful effort to underpay all farm workers.” The essential problem, he told me, is that farm workers are simply paid much too little for the strenuous work that they do, and there are powerful people who want to keep it that way.
More that I have learned about the inner workings of the NCESC further fleshes this portrait of powerful influence at work. Eury brought with him, I am told, one of U.S. Senator Jesse Helms’s aides to one of his earliest meetings with their high level officials. They apparently got the message, because I am also told that these officials skipped levels in the command chain, asking underlings to report to them any criticism of Eury’s NCGA by their superiors or colleagues, that is to say, to rat them out. To be a friend of the NCGA at the NCESC was a good career move; to be critical was not. At the same time, smaller visa brokers to the NCGA who attempted some of the same sorts of stunts we see described in the indictment were invariably found out in short order and shut down.
The Larger Corruption
The situation in North Carolina gives us only a small part of the big picture. A glimpse at that bigger picture can be seen in a quote from a USA Today article that is generally favorable to the H-2A program:
Allegations of recruiting irregularities have been rampant in Mexico, the main provider of H2A workers. Many pay recruiters for the right to secure the coveted visas — illegal under both U.S. and Mexican law — and take out large loans to pay them, according to a survey released last month by the Centro de los Derechos del Migrante (CDM).
Ten percent said they paid fees for jobs that never materialized. Fifty-eight percent said they paid fees that averaged $590 to recruiters, and 47% took out loans, often to the recruiters themselves at interest rates sometimes topping 70%.
One must really wonder why getting a visa to do what has been described by many a virtual slave labor for a few months could be so coveted that one would pay heavily for the privilege. The answer is that the visa is, essentially, a get-into-the-USA-free (except for the mordida) card. The incredible dirty secret of the H-2A/H-2B program is that there is no mechanism to see to it that the visa holder goes back to Mexico when his temporary work is done. The natural result is that most of them, beyond any serious doubt, don’t go back.
The guest worker program has been sold to us as the legal alternative to hiring illegal aliens for temporary work that Americans are unwilling or unable to do. But the way things are set up, today’s legal guest worker is simply tomorrow’s illegal immigrant. While so much of the illegal immigration debate that we see in the press focuses upon people sneaking across the border, massive future-illegal residence in the United States is being facilitated by the federal government itself, and for a quarter of a century Stan Eury has been at the heart of the facilitation process.
One of my SWA contacts was interviewed some years ago by the team of federal investigators who put together the case that eventually became the indictment that came down on the Eurys last week. One member of that team told him that he had been surprised to learn that a substantial number of the crimes they were seeing committed in North Carolina were committed by people who had originally come into the country on H-2A visas.
Most of the negative things we hear about the guest worker program concerns the mistreatment of the workers by Simon-Legree-like employers. Matters came to something of a head a decade ago and the Mexican government announced that it would investigate:
"We are pleased that the government of Mexico concluded that the plight of migrant farmworkers in North Carolina deserves attention," said Bruce Goldstein, co-executive director of the Farmworker Justice Fund. "The treatment of farmworkers under the H-2A guest worker program is a travesty and must be addressed."
Stan Eury, executive director of the N.C. Growers Association, which recruited about 9,000 farmworkers this year and brought them to North Carolina under temporary H-2A agricultural worker visas, scoffed at the complaints.
"We have actually a very good record with farmworkers and think we do a very good job," said Eury, who had not seen the advocacy groups' petition.
My NCESC contact took a jaundiced view of the whole thing and predicted that nothing would come of it. It turns out that he was right:
Having the Mexican government investigate abuse of Mexican workers here in NC is akin to having Dick Cheney investigate the events of 9/11. After this "investigation" was conducted, Eury eventually partnered with a Mexican labor union, FLOC, whose primary contribution was to exact a 2% cut from the workers' wages in return for sweeping their complaints under the rug and thus giving Eury even another layer of cover. The Mexican government should grant him honorary citizenship because he fits in perfectly with that culture.
The abuses of workers under H-2A/H-2B are real enough, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) describes them in quite a bit of detail in its generally excellent report, “Close to Slavery: Guestworker Programs in the United States.” The SPLC informs us in that report that foreign workers have been known to pay from $5,000 to $10,000 each for those coveted visas, far above the comparative pittance of $590 reported by USA Today, and that NCGA has a blacklist of workers who are regarded as agitators and troublemakers. The 1997 “ineligible to rehire list,” it says, “consisted of more than 1,000 names of undesirable former guestworkers.”
The problem here is that this is the fake-left SPLC, probably best noted for describing every organization in the country that doesn’t bow before an all-powerful state as a “hate group.” Most any tea party Republican type who sees that the SPLC is against Stan Eury and his operation is likely to be favorably disposed toward him. * The SPLC, for its part, plays along with this left vs. right game by ignoring completely the contribution that Eury has made in increasing the percentage of the Spanish-speaking population of the United States. But we wouldn’t want to see the left and the right on common ground with American workers against the designs of our globalist masters, would we?
The Great Suppression of 2014
And that brings us to the next level of corruption. There is another interesting quote in that Los Angeles Times article besides the one with which we began this report:
"I have long seen this as a win, win, win," said Eury, tapping long fingers on a massive, carved Mexican table in his office, a fountain burbling in the background and his latest crop of workers sweltering outside.
"It's a win for the growers because they get a reliable work force, a win for the workers because they get good jobs and a win for the American public because it helps cure our illegal alien problem."
We have seen that the third assertion is precisely the opposite from the truth and the second would only have some truth to it if the word “good” were removed from the front of “jobs” and the modifier “foreign” were placed in front of “workers.” The first assertion comes closest to the truth, but it would be closer still if “most unscrupulous” were to be placed in front of “growers” and if “docile and controllable” were substituted for “reliable.” The most important and powerful group is missing from Eury’s “winner” list, however. That is the group that seems to be hell bent to Balkanize and fractionalize the nation. They are the ones who have never seen an immigration liberalization bill that they did not support and who never seem to tire of celebrating the nation’s increasing “diversity.” Anyone who follows our nation’s mainstream news media knows that they, in their entirety, are the national megaphone for that Balkanizing group. (See also “Associated Press Pushes for Statehood for Puerto Rico, particularly the concluding two poems.)
When the federal government goes after someone with such powerful allies as the agribusiness giants and whoever controls the news media, one must wonder what in the world is going on. Has Obama really “gone Bulworth” on this issue? Does he even know what’s going on? Has Attorney General Eric Holder even told him? Is Holder the one who’s gone Bulworth? Or have United States Attorney Ripley Rand and his assistant Frank J. Chut, Jr., gone rogue?
Perhaps it is an instance where the “permanent government,” the bureaucracy, has decided simply to do the right thing for once. If that is the case, one can definitely not say the same thing for our appalling news media.
The investigation that lies behind the charges goes all the way back at least to the last months of the George W. Bush administration. It was then that representatives of the Justice Department, the inspector general’s office of the Labor Department’s Education and Training Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) interviewed my contact in the NCESC.
Not surprisingly, Stan Eury has consistently received much better press than he has ever deserved, particularly from the most influential newspaper in North Carolina, the generally “liberal” Raleigh News and Observer. What do they have to say now that the Justice Department has lowered the boom on Eury? Well, here is where things get very interesting, indeed. They have had absolutely nothing to say! As of today, they haven’t even reported the major news of the indictment! And it gets worse than that, much worse. All the other newspapers in the state were as silent as the News and Observer for more than a week—as indicated by varied and repeated Internet searches—until, exactly one week after the indictment, the Justice Department issued a press release. Then The Pilot of Moore County where Vass is located and the Fayetteville Observer in the city nearest to Vass had short news items based upon the press release. Apparently, Fayetteville is still the only major city in the state where the indictment has been reported in a newspaper. The blackout even apparently includes Greensboro where the indictment was issued.
I learned of the indictment from the only mainstream news organ in the state to put out the news before the press release was issued. That, surprisingly, is the “conservative” television station WRAL, where Jesse Helms first rose to prominence as a news commentator. WRAL broke the silence four days after the day of the indictment with a midday news report. Simultaneously, they put the report on their web site along with the entire official indictment in pdf format. It was an open invitation for other news organs to follow suit, but none did.
Nationally, of course, the news blackout among the mainstream media has been complete. The only alternative site other than those based in North Carolina that has reported the indictment—which it picked up from WRAL—is Before It’s News. That site has carried some of my articles, too, which gives you an idea of how far outside the mainstream it is.
From this writer’s experience when the nation’s press ignores something manifestly important it’s more than important, it’s HUGE. Three examples come readily to mind: the release of the official investigation of the death of Defense Secretary James Forrestal 55 years after the fact; the inclusion upon judges’ order of the letter of the dissenting witness, Patrick Knowlton, with the report by Kenneth Starr on the death of Vincent Foster; and the attempt on the life of President Harry Truman by the Jewish Stern Gang.
In those instances, though, all the power was on one side, that of the news suppressers against truth and justice. Here what would appear we have shaping up is something of a clash of the titans, and wonder of wonders, whether he knows it or not yet, President Obama is actually on the right side. His underlings on the front line, Ripley Rand and Frank Chut are up against a formidable foe, and we’re not just talking about Stan Eury. What the opponents are apparently hoping for is that without the kind of public pressure that publicity would bring, they can string out the case in court until it reaches the likes of a John Bates or a Brett Kavanaugh, who demonstrated their qualifications for federal judgeships by doing yeoman work for Kenneth Starr’s cover-up team in the Foster case. You, dear reader, can help thwart their efforts by sharing this article with everyone you know.
* The SPLC, it should be noted, calls professor Kevin MacDonald, who sees strong Jewish influence behind the increasingly liberal immigration policy of the United States, “the neo-Nazi movement’s favorite academic.”
February 14, 2014