Marty Moran, co-CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill, has begun a push for comprehensive immigration reform after the company was targeted by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation. The investigation, aimed primarily at Chipotle’s Minnesota operations, found that the more than half of the nearly 900 employees were undocumented immigrants. As a result, Chipotle fired more than 500 undocumented immigrants that had been working at the company.
After the firings, Moran has lobbied members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to change the immigration laws. He said that the mass firings left his restaurants understaffed and that the rate of turnover at his restaurants has skyrocketed since the government investigation. He also stated that finding qualified workers has become hard after the increase in government scrutiny. Moran noted that he did not go to Congress looking for any particular solution. Rather, he just wanted a stronger legal immigrant work force for his company to choose from.
The ICE investigation of Chipotle was likely the Obama Administration’s highest visibility raid under a new, tougher enforcement policy for businesses employing undocumented immigrants. This sort of investigation, known as an I-9 audit, allows government agents to examine the records of a business to determine if the business is employing undocumented immigrants. If the business is employing undocumented immigrants, those immigrants will be fired and the business could be subject to a fine.
At the Hacking Law Practice, our immigration specialists work with employers to ensure that they understand and comply with federal immigrant employment laws. We also work with clients who have been contacted by authorities in connection with purported violations of immigrant employment laws. Get in touch with the Hacking Law Practice today at 314-961-8200 or by filling out the online contact form.