American Apparel will fire 1800 undocumented workers

American Apparel will fire “about 1800 workers in coming days– more than a quarter of its workforce” in Los Angeles, according to an article that appeared on the NY Times site minutes ago.

The firings are a result of the Obama administration’s efforts to crack down on illegal immigration by forcing companies to fire undocumented workers instead of staging workplace raids.

According to the article, the investigation of American Apparel began 17 months ago under President George W. Bush, but has become regarded by the the Obama administration as a “showcase” for its work to reduce illegal immigration.

14 thoughts on “American Apparel will fire 1800 undocumented workers”

  1. This is a tough one for me. I’m very conflicted on the issue of undocumented workers in the workplace.

    On one hand, every single undocumented worker is having federal, state and local taxes + medicare, unemployment and social security deducted from their paycheck. Plus, their wages are used to buy food, products and pay sales tax. No harm, no foul here, everyone is paying their fair share. If AA was paying wages under the table and taxes were not being collected it’d be a different story.

    On the other hand, I’d like to think there are hard working citizens that are in dire need of a decent paying job. I do believe that birthright or taking the time to navigate the citizenship process entitles one to first crack at these jobs.

  2. Too funny! Especially since what’s his face (the ownerdude) is such an exploitative tool.

    Legalize your workforce, fool!!!

  3. Our government panders to the 20 to 30 plus (?) illegal immigrants allowing them free subsidies from taxpayers in the US. California–a Sanctuary State has one of the worst records that currently languish under the immense burden of near bankruptcy, instead of –ATTRACTING–ICE to illegal business operations. Certain legislators in Sacramento, led by Gilbert Cedillo-D has authored a lame brain resolution condemning any interference in immigration enforcement. Congressman Brian Bilbray-R Calif. reminds Sen. Cedillo that this resolution breaks the laws of the Constitution. “He should look up the separation of powers section and this resolution is nothing more than political posturing.” Cedillo urges President Obama to declare an immediate moratorium on immigration policies and practices until a comprehensive reform of immigration is enacted. The resolution states ” The State of California values all of its residents, whether they be citizens, legal residents, or undocumented immigrants, and strives to enable all residents to work and live free from discrimination, exploitation, and repressive federal immigration enforcement.” This man certainly has no love for the legal American worker and should be immediately discarded from office as his words are a form of treachery to the jobless people hurting. Why wouldn’t certain legislators want health care for foreign labor, because they have an over abundance of illegal immigrant families to financially support? Our own government is so absorbed in protecting every other countries border? They remain unconcerned to our poor replica border fence that should have been a two-tier periphery, with border patrol surveillance lanes in between, as originally planned by Rep. Duncan Hunter. Every time a good enforcement plan is written, it’s methodically cut to pieces by pro-illegal worker politicians and open border fanatics. Though we spend billions on our armed forces in foreign lands, the rich countries in Europe just forward token troops and little money: while our nation is literary falling apart at the seams–or its rivets?

    Any moment now I expect to hear of yet another collapsing ailing city bridge, deteriorating waterworks, the underground pipes and eroding highway. Our cities are already exhibiting inward decay, but years of neglect by the very people who’s supposed to protect us do nothing? I have reiterated watch “The Crumbling of America” on the History (International) channel in the next few weeks and learn? This is where your tax dollars should be going? We must not allow the Administration as in previous times keep sending our precious tax dollars to other countries. These politicians are deaf, dumb and intentionally blind to the rigors our industrial nation is going through. Not just Democrats, but the Republicans have had their sticky fingers in the bad apple–SPECIAL INTEREST–barrel, where money is plentiful. It’s like they are intentionally trying to turn our magnificent country into a third world nation, while making other cheap labor countries, on an even par with our sovereign society as US wages tumble? Then Again the Council of Foreign Relations have been amplifying its agenda of free movement of cheap labor through North America for years?

    Most of these other lands have been at each others throats for centuries, so why do we expect any metamorphism into something any different? Only change can come from within, not by our nation expending billions of dollars, American lives? We must build our own borders fences, tall and strong and meant to keep out drug dealers, criminal aliens, terrorists and the never ending tracks of illegal aliens. Our politician’s noses are involved in too much foreign policy, while our aging infrastructure implodes. Trillions of dollars are spirited out the country, while we gain little in return. Washington–MUST–start giving back to the jobless American worker by placing a 5 year moratorium on all immigration, even legal? The next politicians should deliver us from any new sinister path to citizenship or better referred to as BLANKET AMNESTY? Follow the “Rule of Law” and not twist it into something else for their own convenience, as it will come back to haunt them at the voting booth. Unless ACORN steps-in with another fed contract and handles sign-ups for the ballot box? In that case will still see absentee ballots for the deceased people, pets and anybody who has learned that you need no government picture ID to sign on to vote.

    The 1986 immigration reform bill dismally failed last time and all we inherited was 5 million illegal immigrants that still keep on coming with their impoverished hands out. Anti-Illegal immigrant forces are growing in numbers to stop another travesty. They acknowledge it could end up costing billions, perhaps even trillions of dollars. Nationwide we have seen the advent of closing hospitals and emergency rooms that have been submerged everyday by swarms by penniless foreigners and their families. Yes! We need health care reform. Americans are dying, going bankrupt , falling under the spell of debt collectors. The special interest lobbyists are causing mass hysteria by lying to the people. Many insurance companies are under this bombardment in television, radio and mass media. Their Status quo wants no change to their profits or high flying CEO’s making millions of dollars. on patients backs? I want health care reform, for the sake of my step daughter who died of Cancer, because the insurers said it was a pre-existing condition and they couldn’t continue to insure her?

    It has become an enigma–THAT THE EMPLOYERS WHO HIRE THEM-LEAVE THE MAJORITY OF SICK PEOPLE ON THE STEPS OF EMERGENCY ROOMS. SO THAT THEIR RESPONSIBILITY ENDS THERE? THEY DRIVE AWAY WITH A CLEAR CONSCIOUS? THEN IS LEFT FOR THE TAXPAYERS CHECK BOOK TO PAY THE BILL? THOSE EMPLOYERS SHOULD BE HUNTED DOWN AND HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR EVERY CENT. We have already been warned by the census bureau of overpopulation in the not too distant future. WE now have a very unique deterrent called E-Verify, that is a part of the SAVE ACT and our lawmakers should stop procrastinating and make it permanent for every worker? Washington knows their walking on quicksand, if the try to under fund or spirit away E-Verify this time around? The corrupting influences from the special interest lobby, have failed to induce many lawmakers to table E-Verify. In our future it could have many other uses other than extracting unauthorized labor from the workplace. Once fully installed it could check state drivers license applicants, insurance, school and higher education registrations and hospital admittances.
    Americans have been unknowingly paying taxes to underwrite subsidies for the illegal population for decades. This is the biggest draw to American jobs, because the employers who hire them are sentient that taxpayers will foot the bills for education, health food stamps, housing and other government benefit consignments that even as citizens are denied. Keep the phone calls coming at 202-224-3121 LOOK FOR ANSWERS AT NUMBERSUSA, JUDICIAL WATCH & OVERPOPULATION AT CAPSWEB? These websites can identity politicians who actually work for the American people and others whose immigration grading level is unsatisfactory to stay in office? Have you heard about any large ICE raids lately? ICE got the order to cease and desist from the motley Democratic leadership. They are also using their influence to either weaken the federal training program 287 G that gives local police federal right to hold for questioning suspicious individual’s immigration status and to rescind the no-match-letter capability in determining a person’s right to work?

  4. Wow Brittancus, that just may just be the longest Metblogs comment ever.

    That being said… Going after employers seems a lot more humane and diplomatic than snatching up people and wreaking havoc on families.

    [Tangent: We know how Dov Charney feels about immigration, I wonder how he feels about Polanski?]

  5. Brittancus FTWODD*.

    * for the win of dubious distinction

    Seems like there could be better places they could raid, that are way more exploitative of their workers. I dunno.

  6. “every single undocumented worker is having federal, state and local taxes + medicare, unemployment and social security deducted from their paycheck”

    What are you smoking? You actually believe that all thoses illegals working constuction, performing day labor and other jobs for cash are having taxes deducted? Do you honestly believe that or are you just repeating it and hoping others will believe it?

  7. Tax payer, read my post again. I’m commenting on THIS story. AND, I think the” If AA was paying wages under the table and taxes were not being collected it’d be a different story.” pretty much sums up how I feel about off the books employees.

  8. If you are here legally then it shouldn’t be a problem with documentation. If you are here illegally as most of these workers are then too bad. Should have stayed in Mexico. Lucky you are not being deported.

  9. Ed, I assume by “Mexico,” you mean anyplace outside, and especially south, of the US border. Your compassion overwhelms.

  10. I made a film about American Apparel two years ago, fascinating prequel to what is happening now…see the trailer, order the film at

    American Apparel, the largest, US-based apparel factory with 250 retail outlets worldwide, until recently employed over 5,000 mostly undocumented garment workers in downtown Los Angeles. Recently, as featured in the NY Times, the company was forced to fire 1800 of its workers because they were illegal. NO SWEAT examines the complex issue of immigrant labor and US immigration policy in the age of globalization. The film profiles both American Apparel and SweatX, two very different T-shirt factories in downtown Los Angeles. But while SweatX was backed by 2.5 million in venture capital from ice-cream maverick Ben Cohen,, American Apparel was built from the ground up by its controversial founder, Dov Charney. SEE THE FILM BEHIND THE SCENES, BEHIND THE LABEL. WATCH THE TRAILER:

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