Latino food chain’s participation in E-Verify leaves a bad taste
Each of the grocery chain’s 21 outlets, which are scattered throughout the Bay Area, Monterey Bay region and Central Valley, is styled to emulate a distinct Mexican region. Boisterous rancheras stream from the stores’ speakers. Vivid primary colors and architectural references cover the walls: the adobe church of San Juan Nuevo, Michoacan, in San Jose’s flagship store; the Maya pyramid of Chichen Itza in the Salinas market.
Mi Pueblo’s employees, all bilingual, wear name tags that list their hometowns.
It’s a formula that helped turn the business founded more than two decades ago by an illegal immigrant from the town of Aguililla into a $300-million enterprise.
“Those of us who don’t speak English, we come here because we’re comfortable,” Yoselina Acevedo of San Jose, a 53-year-old immigrant from Michoacan, said while shopping one recent day.
So the company’s announcement late last month that it was participating in a voluntary federal program that checks the immigration status of all new hires elicited anger and confusion from workers and customers alike.
Read more at the LA Times