Miss. man faces sentencing for hiring illegals

By The Associated Press

HATTIESBURG — The man who hired hundreds of illegal immigrants for one of Mississippi’s most successful private companies faces sentencing Wednesday related to the biggest single workplace raid in U.S. history.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials detained about 600 illegal immigrants at Howard Industries’ electrical transformer plant in Laurel in August 2008.

Jose Humberto Gonzalez, Howard’s former human resources manager, pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy. He faces up to five years.

Several illegal workers were convicted of identity theft. Hundreds were deported. Gonzalez, however, was the only company official charged.

He admitted hiring workers “regardless of concerns about their lawful status.”