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The California Shredding Fiasco: Examining the Evidence - Part 2 of 2

by Jose Latour

Well, my buddy Vinay sent me an old article from May of last year which appeared in the Los Angeles Times, identifying the two subcontractors that I was pondering over during yesterday's article. The two companies involved were:

  1. Datatrac Information Services, a Texas-based corporation

  2. SEI Technology, Inc., a Virginia-based company

In my article, I asked a number of questions, not the least of which was whether the two subcontractors were minority employers, a critical issue since John Macklin's JHM Research and Development is a certified minority enterprise and, as such, was awarded the $325 million INS contract.

Here's what I found via my Internet research: Datatrac is not only a diversity-owned business, it was actually named the leading diversity-owned business in Texas, (actually #4), appearing as #40 on the national list. As if that wasn't enough, the business was named "#1 on the top women-owned businesses" list in Federal Computer Week which identifies the top 25 revenue producers among women-owned IT businesses in the federal government. Datatrac President and COO Cathi Yeager appeared in the September 16 issue of the magazine. On top of all that, Datatrac actually has real job openings, so it is a legitimate employer, very distinguishable from JHM, as I noted in that article... more good news. So it does appear that Macklin subcontracted this very important contract to at least one very important minority-owned company... that's great.

But then here's a question, given all that:

Why wouldn't the company spokesman identify his name, and how is it that the firm's contract with the government prohibits them from speaking to the media about their work, even under these remarkable circumstances?

Can you say "cop out?"

I can understand the purpose for that type of prohibition in the ordinary course and conduct of their subcontracted work with the INS, but doesn't someone owe the public some kind of an explanation? The INS certainly didn't give one, Mr. Macklin vanished into thin air, and now this very reputable company, also responsible for the manufacture of the INS identification cards, won't say a thing? Hmmm...

What, then, about SEI Technology Inc.? Well, I wasn't able to find out anything about them as far as minority ownership, but I guess it isn't really particularly relevant to this incident since they work the Nebraska and Vermont Service Centers and aren't in California... still I'm curious, because nothing on their website talks about being a minority-owned enterprise. A sum of $325 million goes a long way, and the purpose of the minority programs with the federal government is very clear. I sure would like to know whether SEI is as minority-owned as Mr. Macklin's corporation.

All that takes me back to my very original question:

What exactly is JHM for the INS in collecting $325 million?

Are they doing anything other than collecting a portion of the fee, and, if so, how many people is are they employing? If not, just who is making how much of that money and for what?

Once again I wonder what the hell is going on inside the Beltway, and, once again, no one gives me any answers...

About The Author

Jose Latour is the founding partner of Latour & Lleras, P.A., a Gainesville, Florida based business immigration practice representing corporations nationwide in visa management, compliance, and HR training. The above represents Mr. Latour's Editorial opinion. The A/V rated firm and its web site,, were named a winner of the 2002 Inc. Magazine Web Award, receiving recognition along with 14 other companies as the best Web companies in America. In 1999, the firm was named "One of America’s Top Ten Internet/Virtual Companies" in the Inc. Magazine and Cisco Systems "Growing with Technology Awards." The site is one of the most visited and widely read resource on the Internet on U.S. immigration law, attracting subscribers from all over the world, the media and from within the U.S. government. Mr. Latour served as a U.S. Diplomatic and Consular Officer in Mexico and Africa before entering private practice and today divides his time between his law practice, writing, flying, and his music.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.