Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Not an Immigration Raid: American Apparel Forced to Fire 1,800 Workers

Photo by Melle Music via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

The Bush era of ICE raids are over. That, however, does not mean ICE is on the fritz. In what the New York Times calls "a showcase for the Obama administration’s effort to reduce illegal immigration," companies are being forced to "to dismiss unauthorized workers."

For American Apparel in downtown Los Angeles (you know their immigration slogan, "Legalize L.A."), that means about a quarter of its workforce, about 1,800 employees. A 17-month federal investigation found that there were "irregularities in the identity documents the workers presented when they were hired."

People are scratching their heads on why American Apparel, which is the antithesis of a company that exploits illegal workers with bad conditions and extremely low wages (AA pays higher than normal wages, gives health benefits). Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called the move "devastating" and in a follow up editorial, the New York Times called this solution ludicrous: