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After I-9 compliance audit, Chipotle exec seeks immigration reform, P. 1

Last year, immigration officials conducted a number of so-called "silent raids" on businesses across the country. A silent raid involves an audit of a company's I-9 compliance records as opposed to physical raids on a location. This blog reported stories on each type of raid in previous posts, including the employment eligibility verification audit of Chipotle restaurants and an ICE raid at the Lake Nona Veteran's Hospital.

In the aftermath of the Chipotle investigation, the restaurant giant had to let go hundreds of workers in three states. In one state, the restaurant fired more than half the employees. Since that time, the restaurant chain says it is having increasing difficulty with employee turnover rates. A Chipotle leader says the company's turnover rate has jumped 25 percent.

The Chipotle official says it was difficult to replace the employees that were let go. The quality of job applicants was reduced, requiring the restaurant chain to interview four times as many applicants to fill jobs, and then often watch as the new employees stayed for only a short-term.

The restaurant chain's co-leader has turned to speaking with lawmakers on Capitol Hill in both chambers of Congress, aggressively seeking immigration reform in the United States. The co-leader reportedly has told a number of Senators and Representatives at the Capitol that the current employment immigration laws are "messed up," and he is seeking immigration reform. He is not identifying a specific program of reform, but wants to have avenues to hire legal employees.

In the next post, the discussion of the aftermath of the Chipotle I-9 audit will continue.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "A CEO's Demand: Fix Immigration," Miriam Jordan, Dec. 19, 2011

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