By Telly Mamayek, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Union leaders are speaking out against so-called “desktop raids” at two companies in South St. Paul. They say 100 employees of Twin Cities Tanning and Twin Cities Hide are out of work because they could not provide documents to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

Officials with the Service Employees International Union and the United Food and Commercial Workers say ICE is unfairly targeting law-abiding companies that treat their workers well.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Telly Mamayek Reports

“We believe that Immigration and Customs Enforcement is running rogue with taxpayer money,” said Greg Nammacher, secretary-treasurer for SEIU Local 26.

The union leaders claim ICE is veering away from its mission of going after criminals and employers who exploit their workers.

“These workers are paying federal taxes, state taxes and are part of our community,” said Don Seaquist, president of UFCW Local 1189. “Enforcement without immigration reform only succeeds in pushing undocumented workers workers deeper into the shadows, benefiting the most unscrupulous off-the-books employers.”

Comments (19)
  1. john says:

    Just one more reason to HATE unions. They care more about there loss of union dues than they do about enforcement of US law. If a company is employing people with out proper documentation they are NOT ” Law-abiding companies”

  2. Mara Alexander says:

    If they’re here illegally, then it doesn’t matter if they’re “hard working”. Their very presence here is UNFAIR to Americans and to legal immigrants. And quit the bull about paying taxes. Every dollar an illegal alien pays is a dollar that an American isn’t.

  3. Mara Alexander says:

    By the way, I was raised in a union family, and the atittude of these union reps is disgusting. Since when are unions supposed to look out for ILLEGAL ALIENS instead of AMERICAN working men and women? The presence of illegal aliens drives down wages and makes it harder to negotiate for better conditions from employers. And if, in this case, the claim that the employer is treating them well, then all the more reason why AMERICANS would and should be doing these jobs. And how is it that illegal aliens are “paying taxes”–unless they’re using stolen identities?

  4. If they are illegal, ship em out says:

    Uhm, what part of illegal doesn’t SEIU get? So, it is ok for illegals to take jobs from an American?

  5. Stacy says:

    I do believe that we need realistic comprehensive immigration reform. But the fact is it is illegal for a company to hire undocumented workers. It does not matter how well that company treats them, it is still illegal.

    Having said that lets talk about real reform, reform that is actually possible and will really work. Let’s stop the name calling and finger pointing. False accusations and false “facts” need to be ignored and lets come up with solutions rather than sound bites. Lets live in the real world for a moment and come up with solutions that can actually work, not just “solutions” that one group or another want to hear, but will never actually work or solve the problem.

    1. Mara Alexander says:

      The only “reform” we need is enforcment of our laws.

      We already have “guest worker” programs for both skilled and unskilled workers. Employers choose not to use the latter because illegal aliens are cheaper and they can stick the taxpayer with the bill for healthcare, etc. The former have been abused to bring in legal workers who’ll undercut American workers.

      Fact is, there are billions of people in the world who would come here if they could. Immigration policy should be for the benefit of AMERICANS, NOT immigrants.

  6. john says:


    Unions are BIG business – They do not care who’s money they are getting, just that they are getting it. Unions are almost just as responsible for loss of jobs in the US as ILLIGAL ALIENS are. Look at the most heavy unionized industries in the US and you will see they are all failing badly – They have forced the wage up so far that businesses can not complete with products build overseas

    1. Unions Go Away says:

      Unions may be “big” now, but thankfully they are getting smaller all the time!

  7. Terry says:

    If they are paying state and federal taxes , then who’s Social Security num,ber are they using?

  8. wendy says:

    I have always supported the union idea but not the idea of employing illegals. Good employees or bad, it doesn’t matter, what part of illegal do some people not understand. Support the hard working americans out there looking for a job.

  9. Mark from MNtaxwaste says:

    As far as ICE goes they are doing a great job with the budget they use. They could do a much better job of enforcing our laws if the unions and ACLU would stay off their backs

  10. john says:

    If Enforcement like this is ” Pushing undocumented workers deeper into the shadows” I say Great!!!! I just hope those shadows are someplace back in their own country.

  11. lib says:

    Good to see ICE doing their job. The reason Govt. doesn’t put any real effort into getting rid of illegals is because they keep wages down and that keeps inflation down. They are here illegally and using stolen or forged documentation then claim to be law abiding. I believe it is a privledge to be a U.S. citizen, not a freebie because you made it across the boarder.

  12. If they are illegal, ship em out says:

    And all that money that these illegals are paid, do you think it stays in our economy? Nope, they ship a portion home to their motherland every payday, and it leaves our economy. Gee, if it was an American working that job, that money would be spent at the bar, Best Buy or Target!

    Guess SEIU just lost 100 paying members…

  13. Mark from MNtaxwaste says:

    D- on this story. Unions are in no way helping American workers; they are helping illegals line the pockets on the unions. The company will get fined, but nothing compared to the money they saved in labor costs, so they could care less about the fine. The unions have done NOTHING to help this economy starting with Detroit (15% unemployment) were the union bosses told the rank and file to turn down the contracts thinking they could get more. Look where that got them. Government workers where 30+% of some budgets goes for benefits(OUR TAXES) If these companies want to help workers, they could start by taking a bite out of our 12% unemployment.

  14. Randall Cheuvront says:

    “unfairly targeting law-abiding companies?” how are you law abiding if you hire people without proper documentation? being an fraudulent tax payer doesn’t make you a good member of the community and they likely drive illegally without insurance like the great law abiding assets that they are. it’s ice’s job to uphold immigration law flawed or otherwise.

  15. Liz says:

    I’m sure that they do pay taxes…. However with a bunch of dependents and a lower income level they will get more money back in credits than they pay in. $1500 in and $4500 out, with US Citizen taxpayer eating the difference.

    Not to mention the US Citizen who stolen social securtiy number is now in hot water with the IRS.

    Thanks SEIU for sticking up for the illegal worker while sticking it to those who you used to protect- American workers and American jobs!

  16. Mark Smith says:

    People are undocumented because our immigration system is outdated. There is no way for them to legalize their status. That’s the root of the problem. We need to have real solutions and not the BS that we hear in Washington.

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