The Denver-based company Chipotle Mexican Grill, which is already under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security and the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s office for Washington D.C., received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 17.
After undergoing audits by the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm, the company had to fire approximately 500 employees in 2011.
Immigration attorney and former federal prosecutor Michael Wildes, who is not involved in the case, told Reuters that it is “not common at all” for the SEC to be involved in matters of immigration.
“It’s often a ping-pong between the Justice Department and immigration authorities [with the Department of Labor at times stepping in],” Wildes told the news source.
However, in an email to Reuters, legal expert Robert Luskin had a different story to tell. Luskin said it was not at all unusual for the SEC to join an investigation, and it just wants to make sure Chipotle is being honest with its public statements. He added he was “very confident” that the investigation would show the company fulfilled what was needed of it.
There have been several bills drafted over the years attempting to squash any business attempts to hire undocumented workers. A Utah representative recently drafted one that he said would closely reflect Arizona’s immigration law.
Stephen Sandstrom teamed up with Governor Gary Herbert to write the legislation that they hoped would make it punishable for businesses to knowingly hire people that do not obtain U.S. citizenship.
“I think if we told them that if you hire someone illegally and knowingly we’re going to punish them, they’re going to stop doing it,” Herbert told The Salt Lake Tribune.