Legal Workers Hard to Find in Panama City

By: Dana Arquilla
By: Dana Arquilla

Bay County Sheriff's Office cited Antonio Silva, owner of Tony's Painting and Stucco, for hiring four illegal workers to do a job at an apartment complex. But looking deeper into this issue, it's not as uncommon as you may think.

On several occasions, local law enforcement has dealt with illegal immigrants in our area. And on several other occasions, law enforcement has dealt with those who knowingly hire these aliens.

When they discover this type of situation, investigators contact immigration and customs officials and report the incident.

Although it's a monumental problem, illegal workers are apparently low on ICE's priority list.

Here's the irony of the situation. Once immigration officials find an illegal worker, they cite them. But under law, that illegal immigrant is then granted U.S. citizen’s status until they make their court appearance. That could take more than one year.

Panama City Beach just passed a housing ordinance, allowing 200 square feet per person to live in rented housing. City officials say this was passed because too many construction workers were living together in one house.


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