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  1. #1
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    Former Iowa City business owner sentenced for harboring illegal aliens

    Former Iowa City business owner sentenced for harboring illegal aliens

    Numerous undocumented workers found at Hiawatha work site

    thegazette.com
    Vanessa Miller


    Samira Zuniga

    A woman who owned a construction company in Iowa City and pleaded guilty in August to harboring and conspiring to harbor aliens has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.
    Samira Zuniga, 34, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Guatemala and former owner of Iowa City-based Xtreme Construction Company, was arrested in June on suspicion of harboring and employing roofers from Mexico who were charged in April with immigrant violations.

    Marion police in April pulled over a van registered to Zuniga and found Antonio Zuniga, her husband, and other unidentified Hispanic men inside, according to an affidavit of the criminal complaint. Homeland Security Investigations agents on April 26 arrested nine roofers who were working on a job in Hiawatha for Xtreme Construction.

    Although Samira Zuniga is a naturalized U.S. citizen, Antonio Zuniga – who is listed as a “signer” on a bank account for Xtreme Construction – is an illegal immigrant and isn’t authorized to work in the United States, according to the affidavit.

    Samira Zuniga filed a petition for Antonio Zuniga to adjust his illegal status, court documents show. That petition was approved, but Antonio Zuniga never was issued an employment authorization document, according to court documents.

    Six of the illegal immigrants who were arrested testified before a federal grand jury on June 7 that they worked for Antonio Zuniga, who knew they were illegal immigrants, according to the affidavit. They testified that their boss drove them from their apartment to work and back home, paid them in cash and also covered a portion of their rent, the affidavit states.
    Two of the workers said they were Antonio Zuniga’s cousins and they were paid in cash and never completed paperwork. The workers also said they knew Samira Zuniga and she, on occasion, would drive them to work.

    Within three days of the roofers’ arrests, Samira Zuniga and her husband withdrew more than $17,000 in multiple transactions from multiple bank accounts and fled to Mexico with their two children, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

    Samira Zuniga’s children and husband have not returned to Iowa City, but authorities on June 20 found Zuniga back in town, according to the Attorney’s Office. Investigators believe she crossed the Mexican border on June 18 with two elderly couples and was found emptying the contents of her trailer home into a van and cargo trailer, the Attorney’s Office reported.

    Zuniga told people she was planning to move with her family to Mexico, according to authorities, but she was arrested June 21. Zuniga pleaded guilty Aug. 29 to one count of harboring and transporting an alien and one count of conspiracy to transport, harbor, encourage and induce alien to live in the United States.

    U.S. District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade sentenced Zuniga to 18 months in prison, plus a special assessment of $200. Reade at sentencing increased Zuniga’s sentence after determining that she had tried to obstruct justice by misrepresenting facts to the court and probation office and by helping her husband flee potential prosecution.
    After completing her sentence, Zuniga must serve a three-year term of supervised release.

    Zuniga is being held in the U.S. Marshal’s custody until she can be transported to a federal prison.

    source: Former Iowa City business owner sentenced for harboring illegal aliens | TheGazette
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Two of the workers said they were Antonio Zuniga’s cousins and they were paid in cash and never completed paperwork. The workers also said they knew Samira Zuniga and she, on occasion, would drive them to work.
    No Federal or Social Security taxes were paid, where are the tax evasion and racketeering charges?
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  3. #3
    Member bamissfa's Avatar
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    I believe that US Citizenship should be provisional...do they not take an oath of allegiance to the US and our laws? Then, when they break our laws after they've been naturalized..their citizenship should be revoked and they should be deported back to their originating country. That this "naturalized" citizen did is so disgusting to me. This is how the latinos especially illegals who start a biz here..they will not hire US Citizens for fear of being reported so the illegal biz hires only illegal aliens. Most of the worker pay 0 tax and the biz is not either so aside from the loss of job to workers there is also a draining away of business from legitimate taxpaying companies.

    I also believe immigrants who already speak, read and write English fluently should be given first priority to come to the US.

    The other thing i see is that we have a disproportionate number of Latinos to other immigrants. Latinos comprise 87 to 90% of all illegal aliens. If our government just secured the border that would take care of 87% of our illegal alien problem!

    I live in NC, our unemployment is over 10%, higher than the national average. We have an illegal alien problem that Democrat Bev Perdue just sweeps under the rug. She raves about 70 new jobs coming to NC but does nothing about the 1/2 million illegals...the Republican Senate leadership should just go head and convert to the Democratic party because they are just as bad....Senator Phil Berg supported La Raza and Pueblo organizations "helping" to re draw our district lines.

    The argument that they do jobs Americans don't want is simply untrue. Illegals are in construction, roofing, house painting and home service industries, housekeeping both commercial and domestic in home.

    A day in court in NC with a minority female judge shows the bias already in our courts. A caucasian male defendant who was charged 2 years prior was just getting his case before a judge AFTER he had been a model probationer, passed all drug tests, was working a FT steady job, had paid up all probation fees represented by a black attorney and a black probation officer, both of which recommended to the judge that leniency be given. The judge scolded both in the courtroom for their diligence, then went on to sentence the defendant 12 days in jail with accompanying $500 fees, and additional 6 months probation. A black male defendent with a long rap sheet had his charges entirely dismissed. The most interesting case was that of a pregnant illegal alien coming up for several charges including theft. She was pregnant with her 6th child to be born in the USA. All of her charges were also dismissed.

    This is exactly what we can expect this nation to turn into, corrupted courts catering to illegals, showing them mercy while Citizens with jobs and who can pay all those probation fees are held to the letter of the law.

    I try to understand WHY these types of US Citizens believes it's reasonable to allow illegals to break our laws. I can only surmise that those who think it's AOK for illegals to be here and be absolved of their crimes, have not been personally affected by illegals. Those who have seen it and experienced it personally change their minds really quick.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nomas's Avatar
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    Samira Zuniga, 34, a naturalized U.S. citizen
    Should be STRIPPED of citizenship before she goes to prison. There should be a lot more charges added, and she and her hubby should lose EVERYTHING here in the US they haven't already gotten out.

    I totally support what some have enacted: anyone applying for a business license MUST be a citizen and be required to prove it!

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