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Group calls for boycott of Mi Pueblo grocery chain

  • This Sept. 6, 2012 photo shows Rogelio Marquez holding a sign at a news conference to protest Mi Pueblo Food Center's use of the federal E-Verify program in San Jose, Calif. A Northern California-based grocery store chain that caters to Latino immigrants has come under fire for participating in a federal program that checks the immigration status of prospective workers. Community groups are set to call for a boycott of San Jose-based Mi Pueblo on Monday that stems at least in part from the chain's participation in the E-Verify program. (AP Photo/Bay Area News Group, Anda Chu)

Group calls for boycott of Calif. grocery chain

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California-based grocery store chain that caters to Latino immigrants has come under fire for participating in a federal program that checks the immigration status of prospective workers.

A coalition of groups, including the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 5, on Monday called for a boycott of San Jose-based Mi Pueblo in part because of the chain's participation in the E-Verify program. The program is voluntary in California.

The company said on Friday that it joined E-Verify after federal immigration officials launched an audit of its existing workers' immigration status in August, the San Jose Mercury News reported (http://bit.ly/SA6jcp ).

The chain's founder, Juvenal Chavez, himself a former illegal immigrant, has briefed employees over the past week, the Los Angeles Times reported (http://sacb.ee/Q8GZVM) over the weekend. The company is also launching a radio show to educate families who could be affected by the audit and plans to conduct outreach to community organizations and churches.


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