Iowa farmer gets probation for illegal immigrants

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A 62-year-old man who had employed illegal immigrants at his Vinton, Iowa, dairy farm has been given a year of probation.

A Friday news release from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa says Kenneth Birker's business was ordered to pay $150,000 in penalties.

The release says Birker had pleaded guilty to knowingly employing illegal immigrants. He also pleaded guilty for Birker, Inc., to harboring illegal immigrants for financial gain.

Prosecutors say that in 2001, Birker hired a husband and wife from Mexico who had entered the U.S. illegally. In 2004 Birker hired a relative of the couple who also was an illegal immigrant. The release says Birker later talked to an attorney and said Birker, Inc., would help the couple try to gain legal status.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


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