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Feds pay illegal immigrants for jobs while in custody
By SUSAN CARROLL Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle
March 26, 2009, 10:08PM

If you were to stop on a street corner anywhere in America and knowingly hire an illegal immigrant to do your laundry or clean your basement, you would be breaking the law.

But for years, the federal government has been paying immigration detainees $1 a day to perform menial work in the nation’s public and private detention centers.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials insist there is no double standard, saying the Voluntary Work Program offers detainees a break from the monotony of incarceration and a chance to earn money while they are locked up.

Rutgers University criminal justice professor Michael Welch called the program a “paradox.