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American Apparel's Workforce: One-Third Illegal

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An early AA immigration reform billboard.  Image via <a href=""></a>
An early AA immigration reform billboard. Image via

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One third of employees at American Apparel's LA factory are immigrants who aren't legally permitted to work in the US, according to a federal probe. On the one hand, this is obviously a surprising statistic, since it's such an enormous percentage. On the other hand, in some ways the news isn't a surprise at all. From a 2008 article about Dov Charney in now-defunct business journal Portfolio:

Last December, Charney was served with a notice of inspection by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, the largest investigative branch of the Department of Homeland Security, informing him that he needed to prepare documentation on all of his workers for review.
Charney and his growing team of lawyers and consultants have taken this as a warning. The company has given the feds records for thousands of workers; Charney says he hasn't heard a word in response. Since then, he's spent his days bracing for a raid at any time on American Apparel's factories.
The company received the results last week, according to WWD. It hasn't been raided as such—it wasn't charged with any wrongdoing, since the ICE believes that it didn't knowingly hire illegal aliens—but if the 1,800 cited employees can't prove that they're here legally, they're all going to lose their jobs.

· Probe fingers 1,800 American Apparel workers [Yahoo]
· Barely Legal [Portfolio]
· ICE Issues Citation to American Apparel [WWD, subscription req'd]