MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Workers fired from local Chipotle restaurants spoke out Thursday about what they want to see happen now that they are out of jobs.

About 50 workers from around the metro have been let go in the past two weeks. Minnesota Immigration Rights Action Committee thinks the firings are the result of a federal immigration audit.

The group claims Latino workers who couldn’t immediately produce paperwork are now out of work.

They worked at Chipotle restaurants in St. Paul, Minneapolis and Stillwater, among others.

“Firing large numbers of Latino workers right before Christmas is the wrong thing to do. We demand that Chipotle stop this cruel wave of firings, and we demand that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) stop these I-9 audits that punish workers, not employers,” said Brad Sigal of the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc), which is supporting the workers.

The group held a news conference Tuesday in Minneapolis.

“I don’t have documents and I didn’t when I started, but I’ve been living in this state for 9 years and have been contributing to the economy and haven’t done anything wrong and have just been an active participant in this society,” said one fired worker, through a translator.

Chipotle released a statement saying they were cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

So far ICE officials haven’t commented on the firings.

WCCO-TV’s Frank Vascellaro Reports

Comments (62)
  1. Randall Cheuvront says:

    “haven’t done anything wrong”… um well there is the being here illegally and working illegally. you must have committed identity fraud to fill out tax forms as well. why do they ALWAYS say they haven’t done anything wrong or that they aren’t criminal? the very nature of their being here is a crime regardless of what your feelings are on immigration policy.

    1. Elizabeth says:

      There is such an extreme fine line between what is legal and what is not. It is not as complicated and concrete as you make it seem. We could easily make breathing illegal if we all came to a consensus on it, and I’m pretty sure that could make you a criminal, as well. It may be a crime, but it is not a deserving title. We could do sooo much more to give them the title the majority of them deserve: law biding members of our society.

    2. Jen Dockter says:

      One must realise first that the lines of “nationality” are set up under the pretense of those in power staying in power and keeping power from themselves at the cost of those other citizens who live within those bounds. We are a single world and a single species. Each person deserves the ability to move freely about the world in this way granted they are not causing grievous physical harm to themselves or others.
      To put it quite simply, I’d rather have 10 people who are living here “illegally” who are working to better themselves and their communities than a single person who is here “legally” who simply squanders all the possible advantages that being in this nation provides. If we as a human race are to move toward a peaceful co-existance and a “world economy”, the tribal lines of nationality must be torn down.

      1. Elizabeth says:

        Wow that was the best way I have ever heard it put! Very well said. We are human. Humans are a species. Hundreds of species out there migrate. It is a thing of nature. The only purpose of government is an agreement of how we are going to cooperate for survival, including who is going to contribute what and how, exactly like you said. We all need to work together for the survival of our nations, and the status of ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ is merely a title and a label that does not accurately or fairly determine the true contributions of the individual. Great input!!!

      2. Really? says:

        @Elizabeth-Government isn’t about who contributes what!!!! Your entitlement attitude is disgusting!! Move freely about? On private property no doubt? Some people work hard for what they have and deserve it. The ONLY job of government is to protect it’s citizens!!! DO YOU UNDERSTAND? Go get yor welfare and leave decent people alone! You, no doub,t are a thief who thinks the world “owes you” or anybody else who decides they want to come here!! You make me sick!!

  2. justice says:

    It’s about time someone does something about the illegal immigrants taking away jobs that some out of work citizens need, there needs to be more of this.

    1. Elizabeth says:

      Well if you are worried about competing with an individual who can do the job when they don’t even speak the language, you are the one who has taken our education system and our opportunities for granted by not improving your own skills and credentials. You have failed our society, not them.

      1. justice says:

        How does one so this when they discriminate against Americans? They have done this to me more than once so don’t tell me I have not taken advantage of all that i have available to me.

      2. Elizabeth says:

        Okay, let me get this straight, you don’t like Latino immigrants because they have discriminated to you? I am not sure what you mean by this comment but I really don’t like it. You are saying you have resentment to Latino people because you have been discriminated against by them? That is the biggest stereotype ever. I know ALOT of Latino people, including illegals and legals and second and third generations, and I do not know one that has said anything discriminatory about a white person, so your stereotype is a pretty thin excuse. And how about this one: I know a girl who was brought here illegally by her MOTHER, when she was 9 years old. She struggled to learn a new language in her new home. She did nothing wrong because she had no clue about laws and immigration, and she probably would have loved to go home. Since then, she was put into a grade a year ahead for her age, she graduated on the A honor roll at age 17, she was homecoming queen, and now attends a private Lutheran college with straight A’s for political science and sociology with a minor in psychology. She still does not have one paper, but she’s doing it. She has to live every day of her life in fear over her MOTHER’S decision to bring her here, but she is still living life to the fullest, working harder than I garauntee you ever have or ever will. So you live your live believing you are smart and correct for your excuse for disliking Latino people, and you go ahead and believe you have ACTUALLY taken every possible opportunity this country has to offer. when the Dream Act is finally passed, that girl will finally get to live her life to her full potential in her HOME LAND because THIS IS THE ONLY HOME SHE HAS EVER KNOWN.

      3. Really? says:

        PLEASE SHUT UP!!! You dirty liberal~~The “Nightmare ACT” will NEVER be passed!! Those who are here illegally can go and apply for citizenship but they are afraid of being caught!! They know they are breaking the law, much like Manson knew he was breaking the law!!

  3. Bootsontheroad says:

    The USA is a country that runs under the rule of law. I for one want to see more audits, deportation and all immigration laws enforced in this country. This would include large fines for any employer that hires an undocumented, illegal, person.

    1. re re says:

      if this is done, they should also check to see how many ppl lie about working for a PCA business, in my line of work there are so many ppl saying their business is this and when you call you find out it not a business at all. And you are right thy only did this because there is a fine if illegals are working for you. However it should be for all nationalities and not just the lation community. Look at the Somali family who lied about having a son to get into their lottery, did thy get deported..im sure they didnt and no one has check on that have thy?

  4. Wes says:

    The person lived here 9 years and still needs a translator? Unbelievable.

    1. janna says:

      I need a translator to understand a lot of people who were born, raised and educated in the USA.

      1. Paul Simenson says:

        Undoubtedly Janna along with speaking in defense of law braking immigrants you’d would also rail against the firing of inempt teachers that are at the root cause of the type people of whom you refer.

    2. Randall Cheuvront says:

      i saw an article a while back that a lady who had been here 14 years needed a translator. way to assimilate!

    3. Elizabeth says:

      You’ve lived here your whole life and you’ve never learned another language? In those latino countries, they have to pay year by year for school from kindergarten on, on wages of $0.12/hour so I’m pretty sure he has never had an education. You have, so what is your excuse?

      1. Really? says:

        OUR LANGUAGE IS ENGLISH!!!! We don’t need to learn another language!! PLEASE SHUT UP!!!

  5. vikesmike says:

    I’ve been to Chipotle twice since this happened, and will continue to boost their business weekly.

  6. Shane G says:

    I say open the borders or annex Mexico and clean things up. We all live in the same world, this whole man made ‘divide of land’ is ridiculous. Anybody should be able to live in whatever country they feel like living in. If I want to move to Paris, I should just be able to pick up and go. This is why there is so many wars, famines, and hate in this world. Everybody claiming “mine, mine, mine.”

    1. AVoice says:

      Oh my, if you actually think that, you are niave and a straight up idiot. For example, do you know ANYTHING about culture differences? And EXCUSE ME, how do expect jobs to work out? Illegal imigrants just took 50 jobs from what 6 stores? How many jobs do you think they have taken NATIONALLY? Obviously you have not thought any of this through, you are just trying to be ‘nice’ and or you are or know of illegal immigrants. It is a national problem and a BIG one, and I can’t thank the Feds enough for getting them out of here! Looking forward to additional actions taken!

      1. Jen Dockter says:

        The fact of the matter is that most people in the US are unwilling to do the HARD work necessary to work in an environment such as this. When was the last time you met an adult American who worked in a fast food kitchen in a non-managerial role? People complain all the time about bad or slow service at fast food restaurants, and a lot of that stems from staff that is undertrained and generally immature. If anything, it improves the experience for consumers to have responsible adults working the grill than a bunch of kids.

  7. nick says:

    Wes, i was going to say the same thing. I would like to see this continuing harder.

  8. Jonny D says:

    Deport them all and the crazy cab drivers who have no idea how to drive hang up the phone and watch the road

  9. Twinsfan says:

    Illegal Latinos damage and hurt legal Hispanics, born here or authorized to be here. My hubby is US born of US citizens of US citizens and so on and so on, going back to before the US bought Arizona in the 1850s but people, stupidly so, right here in Minnesota ask him if he’s legal and if he has a green card or if he became a citizen by marrying his white wife. Seriously, why is Gunderson okay but Garcia not?

  10. Lynn says:

    Fold your own burito, Who needs illegal imigrants to do it. Bravo for ICE

  11. Michael says:

    Better people wake up and quit worrying Illegals..Start worry about closing the borders to free trade.We need jobs and the only way to get jobs is, to close borders to free trade and duty free. making the the Americans companies come back to the USA creating jobs for the people.

    1. Jonny D says:

      I could not have said it better myself

  12. Jay says:

    THere aremany legal Americans out of work and don’t need to be competing for the same positions that illegals are. No paperwork? Go back home and whine to them, then go through the legal process to come back. You will find no one feeling sorry or backing you here.

  13. Stephanie says:

    “I don’t have documents and I didn’t when I started, but I’ve been living in this state for 9 years and have been contributing to the economy and haven’t done anything wrong and have just been an active participant in this society,” said one fired worker, through a translator.

    Glad to see ICE doing it’s job. If you are still using a translator 9 years later, I bet taxpayers are paying to teach your kids English as a second language. Does that make any sense?

    1. Amanda says:

      But you want them to learn English in order to live here. So which is it? English or not?

  14. Barney says:

    You can’t keep them out if you’re paying them to come. Continue the audits and hit the employers. But also produce a workable check on immigration.

  15. harold ungerstrike says:

    It is not Chipolte that fired the workers that could not prove they were legal US citizens….. it was the Federal Government. These people that were fired must of had proper identification when hired. Where is it now?

  16. redbarron says:

    If this makes you mad wait until the DREAM ACT gets voted on either late this week or early next. Please take the time to look it up. It will grant AMNESTY to thousands of ILLEGAL IMMIGRAMTS who atten college or sigh up for the military for 2 years…. the bill is completely flawed. Call your Senator and tell them to vote NO… call now and call often! This is very close to passing. It is being pushed by Pelosi and Reid, and Obama!

  17. redbarron says:

    Also on the Dream Act…. why is it that we have heard NOT ONE thing from WCCO or and other big dog news station on this… I have been following it daily and have yet to hear anything about it on any news cast. People this is huge.. Amnesty to thousands and you are helping to pay for their college tuition! This bill already passed in the house and is just waiting to be voted on in the senate..
    Once again call NOW and tell them NO!

  18. Michelle P. says:

    I think anyone who steals or breaks the law, legal citizen or not, should be sent to another country. That seems to be most ppls complaint – the workers/immigrants are taking away from us so get rid of them. All people who steal take from all of us eventually in a trickle down way. Loook at all the money spent on prisons to house criminals that are US citizens. Get rid of anyone who breaks laws – send them to another country too just like the illegal aliens.

  19. Ron Johnson says:

    mmmm chipotle…

  20. NativeMN says:

    Some of our forefathers were criminals expelled from Europe. Now, we should send our criminals, where?

  21. Tina says:

    FACT: Employers hire immigrants because they work twice as hard as Americans.
    This is a FACT! Immigrants do quality work without complaining. They don’t sit around and watch the clock like most Americans. The more work for them, the better!
    Americans complain about going to work, then complain about not having enough hours, then they complain about pay, then about taxes, then about breaks, etc.
    There is ALWAYS something wrong for someone when it comes to Americans.

    FACT: If all immigrants were deported tomorrow, Americans would NOT be racing to Chipotle or Taco Bell for jobs.
    Face it, you know you would not turn in your resume or application to Chipotle or Taco Bell even if you were asked to.
    Majority of Americans have too much pride to work in “fast food” restaurants. They’d leave it up to their local high school students to apply instead.

    You people talk as if we own the country. We DON’T! This land rightfully belongs to the Native Americans, yet we treat them like
    outsiders and send them off to live on reservations. WE’RE the enemies here. WE’RE the immigrant. Take a step back and look at yourselves.
    We’re no better than anyone else. Just because we were “born” here doesn’t mean we have more rights or opportunities than anyone else.
    The United States of America is the most corrupt country in the world. The government does a good job covering up because obviously most of you
    are blinded by their “laws” and “constitution” and their promise of the so-called “american dream”. Good luck sending off the immigrants.
    Soon we’ll be the ones crossing the border to Mexico begging for their jobs when the United States comes crashing down.

    1. mark from mntaxwaste.com says:

      @Tina You don’t know much about Americans do you? Your statements used to make real citizens of America feel guilty don’t work. If you know of another country that is better, please enlighten us all. We would love to read what you have to say, Also please tell us where the Native Americans did come from, was it through Russia and down the west coast. That again makes so sense. We are waiting.

      1. Jen Dockter says:

        Well the truth of the matter either way is that their people were here before yours. Even those “dirty Mexicans” you so love to hate.

    2. Paul S says:

      So why are you still living here? You and all the other progressive nut jobs that wear you hatred for the USA on you sleeves and if it is a badge of moral superiority are at the root of the coruption you speak of. You’re the enemy from within.

    3. re re says:

      i agree with you..Many American’s turn their nose up to jobs like these

  22. GermanMN says:

    The audits mean they were fired, not deported. So now there are 50 more unemployed folks needing help to feed their families. How is that helpful?

  23. Art says:

    Most of you commenters have lived here your whole lives, yet you would need a translator to speak Ojibwe or Dakota. Way to assimilate. Danged anchor babies…

  24. linda says:

    if they are here illegally then the deserve to be fired. they HAVE broken laws and deserve to be jailed until there are enough to justify the cost of deportation of them all

  25. linda says:

    Go start a Chipolte in Guadalajaro and leave American jobs to Americans. You were breaking laws and dont deserve to have those same laws shelter you. Right on ICE, its about time. The contribution you have made to our society is minimal since you have also been receiveing schooling for your children and medical services etc. We dont need you as much as you need our services. Go home and quit needing translators paid for by our taxes.

  26. Minnesota says:

    Its called a green card! get one!

  27. too close to the border says:

    Anyone see the movie Day without Mexicans? very honest look at things.
    but hey….learn the language asap if you really want to live here, it’s common courtesy!

  28. Mark from mntaxwaste.com says:

    Get on the bus, and get the HELL out!!

  29. M. says:

    Hmmm….some people need to look up what the word illegal means. By all means, come to the US for a better life as a contributing member of society, but do it legally!

  30. justice says:

    One of the only reasons that most illegal immigrants are still here is that the politicians who will not deport them is that that need the votes form the hispanic community so there cousins can stay here.

  31. A Real American says:

    BOYCOTT CHIPOTLE! They had to know these people were illegal and they still hired them, prob with a wink and a nod! GOOD JOB ICE!

  32. Adolf N says:

    Wow, I’ve never seen so much Hate from ALL angles………..the Liberal Nut Jobs Hate and the Right Wing Wackos Hate…………I’m not sure who to HATE anymore………..I guess I’ll just HATE EVERYONE! That’s it! I’m Not Predjudiced!

  33. michelle says:

    Illegal is illegal, period. Why are we blaming anyone other than those breaking the law?

  34. Mae says:

    BOYCOTT CHIPOTLE! They had to know these people were illegal and they still hired them, prob with a wink and a nod! GOOD JOB ICE!
    I second that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. Lynn Bearsheart says:

    I am glad ICE is stepping up their efforts. I don’t feel sorry because they are breaking the laws of the land. If I commit a crime I have to do the time. I know a few people that would work in fast food because they lost their jobs. And I am one of them. It get frustrating when you apply, and all you see are illegal immigrants being hired. That is not fair. Now ICE need to go out to the Unique store in New Hope and see if there are illlegals out there. Good job ICE, our young people need jobs as well.

  36. Mae says:

    How about the store in sunray???????

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