It was good to read in Tuesday’s paper that two contractors active at Alegria Resort were given fines for hiring undocumented persons. While there is no desire to see these companies or the property at Beacon Hill hurt, an example needed to be set.
After all, it concerned not only some, but every one of their 20 employees encountered at the jobsite during an inspection by a multidisciplinary team. Although capable local construction workers may not be so easy to come by as the country’s rebuilding process from the devastation of Hurricane Irma continues, it’s hard to believe they could not have found at least a few.
What’s more, too often only the illegal immigrants seem to get punished with detention and deportation, rarely those who make use of such and knowingly break the rules for their own benefit. Usually no social insurance premiums are paid on behalf of these people either, with potentially tragic consequences should something happen to them.
Exact amounts of the supposedly “hefty” penalties imposed were not released, but the maximum is 10,000 Netherlands Antilles guilders. This could theoretically even be applied per each individual case.
In general, when tackling offences, it’s important to do so judiciously and spare no guilty party. If, for example, public administrators or officials are tried for accepting bribes, so should in principle those who offered these.
The latter can be difficult because it usually involves corporations with management structures that protect culprits. Others try to hide behind temporary employment agencies, but there is something called “chain responsibility” in the law.
Co-perpetrators of crimes also occasionally turn witness in exchange for sentence reductions, but it cannot be so that they get off scot-free or with just a slap on the wrist. If “Lady Justice” is truly blind that must also be evident from her actions which speak louder than words.