Chipotle wants immigration reform after losing half its Minnesota employees

Categories: Investigations

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Chipotle boss says immigration system "is really messed up."
Chipotle boss Monty Moran wants comprehensive immigration reform after immigration raids cost the company hundreds of jobs in Minnesota.

Chipotle began a mass-firing of Minnesota employees last December after immigration authorities initiated a "desktop raid" into Chipotle's hiring records, which was first reported by City Pages. The company was initially believed to have fired a third of Minnesota employees but that was an underestimate. A report in the Wall Street Journal says the company fired "more than half of its 900 employees in Minnesota."

Moran has been having meetings with United States senators Michael Bennet, Mark Udall, and Charles Schumer (all Democrats), and Republican representatives like Darrell Issa and Lamar Smith to push for immigration reform in light of his company's problems.

"Immigration is really messed up," Moran said.

Immigration's examination of Chipotle's hiring records found more than 500 illegal immigrants working at the company, according to the Wall Street Journal. Chipotle had to let them go and struggled to replace that many people in such a short period of time.

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Nick Pinto
"Maria" was one of the employees fired by Chipotle due to immigration enforcement
The immigration audit has cost the company more than $1 million in legal fees, and the company could be fined by the federal government, according to the Journal.

Although Chipotle is talking the talk about the need for immigration reform, immigrants who actually worked for the company reported unfair treatment at the hands of their bosses last year.

City Pages published an interview with two fired workers last winter. Both said working conditions at Chipotle were abusive even before they were fired. The two employees reported being asked by managers to work extra hours without overtime and were often given "harder and more unpleasant work than the restaurant's white employees."

Read more about the company's campaign for immigration reform here.

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Chipotle launches mass firings of Latinos across Minnesota [UPDATE]
Chipotle fired more than a third of its Minnesota workforce for immigration violations
Chipotle fires at least 80 Latino workers in Minnesota


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13 comments
Chris
Chris

They took away there free student drinks, I guess to cover the cost of all the illegals they don't have working for them anymore.  I won't ever eat here again.

Ron Yeary
Ron Yeary

I've only rarely eaten at a Mexican restaurant since the "Gringo's" a local chain went out of business in the '80's. Probably less then 5-6 times in thirty years. The last time, the dinner cost me roughly $17. A steak enchilada with roughly 4 oz of very tough sirloin plenty of refried beans, rice and of course lots of Iceberg lettuce. What a waste of money, and all for the purpose of getting ecoli, H1N1 or possibly TB from the workers? No Thanks...

Ca(OH)2
Ca(OH)2

They were not any cheap labor, they probably were earning the minimum wage for sure, in consequence they were paying taxes and feeding up all the lazy and mean ones who do a poor job just because the the paycheck is low and not enough to get the latest i phone.

Pundit
Pundit

Meanwhile conservatives cheering the death of a clearly evil anti-American socialist immigrant-loving company. No wonder Tony Sutton created Baja Sol!

Dan Frye
Dan Frye

These people are ruining our Chipotle. I'm sick of these white high school girls rolling the worst burritos ever.

IVE HAD TO SWITCH TO BOWLS. BOWLS!!!!

The caps lock was necessary to convey my anger, in all seriousness Chipotle needs to start hiring Mexican/Latin American workers again.

Mnjoe5078
Mnjoe5078

The Democrats want the votes and the Republicans want the cheap labor - nothing ever gets done no matter who's running the country. And where did these fired workers go? To work for other restaurants in the area - so what was really accomplished here? 

Joe
Joe

Chipotle has gone downhill ever since. These replacement workers can hardly wrap a burrito. Bring back the Mexicans!

Johnny
Johnny

And no mention that the raid was launched by the DOJ and HHS, both controlled by the ever-so-compassionate Obama appointees......

Cesar Chavez
Cesar Chavez

good job City Pages on your cutting expose which got 450 poor people fired and kicked out of the country. what did you think was going to happen, Chipotle execs going to jail? 

NeNe
NeNe

Just hire more ethnically white girls, like Italians, Russians, etc. 

Dave
Dave

They should start spray-tanning these white employees to at least make it feel more authentic.

Bianca
Bianca

FINALLY! Someone said it.

HurdyGurdy
HurdyGurdy

That's a pretty silly thing to say. As a former Chipotle employee for 3 years, I can tell you that workers and management alike have been waiting for this hammer to fall. I can also say that the "illegal" Mexicans and Hondurans working at that store (I left before the mass firing) were the most humble, friendly, and hard-working people I've ever known. By the way, many of them didn't get deported, just fired and forced to look somewhere else for the chance to support their families.

I'm interested in seeing the financial records of Chipotle (specifically MN stores) to gauge whether the obviously inferior replacement workers (and the general controversy) have harmed overall sales. Not really Chipotle's fault, so good on the CEO for pursuing immigration reform, even though he could have been trying this years ago before he lost all of his cheap(er) labor.

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