Things That Matter

The One Instance Where Discrimination Didn’t Win

Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty

It’s time for the city of Los Angeles to pay up for setting illegal curfews on its residents…and it’s going to pay BIG money.

As much as $30 million will settle the class-action lawsuit that blames the LAPD for setting curfews on residents as part of gang injunctions that were previously deemed unconstitutional as reported by the Los Angeles Times. Most of the money will go towards job training of former gang members and those who felt they had been illegally stripped of their freedom by the LAPD.

“This is taking an injustice that never should have happened and turning it into an opportunity to start over,” attorney Anne Richardson told the newspaper.

The 2011 lawsuit was filed after Christian Rodriguez was arrested while living in the Mar Vista Gardens housing projects, within the territory of the Culver City Gang Boys. Here’s the thing, Rodriguez is not a gang member and does not associate with any gangs. Yet, he was still arrested for violating the 10 p.m. curfew in 2009, two years after these types of curfews were said to be illegal.

“Because I was wrongly labeled as a gang member, I couldn’t even be outside helping my mom with the groceries at night,” Rodriguez stated. “I got involved in this case to help others who like me,  did nothing wrong but unjustly live in constant fear of doing something that might be perceived by a member of LAPD as a violation. I want my 2-year-old daughter to grow up without that fear.”

READ: This Ex-Gang Member Used To Run The Streets Of L.A., Now He’s An Emmy-Nominated Actor

Read more from the Los Angeles Times.

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Dunkin’ Donuts Is Suing Franchise Owners In An Attack Against Undocumented Immigrants

Culture

Dunkin’ Donuts Is Suing Franchise Owners In An Attack Against Undocumented Immigrants

If you think the Starbucks vs Dunkin’ Donuts game wasn’t already polarizing, America’s coffee choices just got politicized. Dunkin’ Donuts Franchising LLC filed a complaint in a Delaware federal court on June 24, alleging two of its franchise owners have violated federal immigration law and their stores should be shut down. This complaint was against Thomas Sheehan and Kenneth Larson, who run nine stores in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. It isn’t the first time Dunkin’ sued its own franchise owners for this reason.

Dunkin’ sent termination letters to 14 stores in New Jersey and Virginia and then filed a suit against them in April.

According to Dunkin’, it was a customer complaint that sparked this wave of suits.

Credit: dunkin / Instagram

It then began a ten month review period which found hundreds of employee records with incomplete, unverified or falsified I-9 forms. Those I-9 forms are what authorize a person to legally work in the United States. The company also uses an electronic system called “E-Verify.”

Dunkin’ started using E-Verify in 2006, when only government agencies were using the system.

Credit: dunkin / Instagram

Two years later, the company began investing in lobbying efforts for immigration reform. It even hired an outside firm to lobby on immigration in 2017. It filed 100 similar lawsuits in 2006 and 2007 alone. The suits filed in the last couple of months are primarily citing its franchise owners for not using E-Verify.

One Delaware franchise owner has countersued Dunkin’.

Credit: @TheRucasJohnson / Twitter

They’re claiming they were given no opportunity to “correct the violations” and suspect Dunkin’ is just trying to resell their stores for greater profit. Kind of like when your landlord stops caring about keeping you around so that they can hike up the rent.

Labor lawyers are saying that patrolling immigration status has never been a targeted issue in franchises.

Credit: @MercurialMiss / Twitter

Dunkin’ is leading the way in pushing immigrant supporters from wanted to run on Dunkin’. Of course, folks are starting to #BoycottDunkin.

Those who support making life harder for undocumented folks are pledging allegiance to Dunkin’ Donuts.

Credit: @JamesonCal / Twitter

Some business analysts suspect Dunkin’ is simply making a play at reselling its franchises for profit by pushing owners out. Others imagine Dunkin’ is just trying to protect its own business by avoiding the potential for labor violation fines. Pesky customer complaints.

Last year, new CEO Dave Hoffman said hiring workers on work-study visas was “critical” for the company.

Credit: @dunkindonuts / Twitter

So the move could mean that it’s trying to show the federal government that it’s a lawful employer, in hopes that it would make receiving more legal work visas probable. That was said around the time that 7/11 avoided its own labor violation fines by assisting ICE with raiding nearly 100 stores. 7/11 stated that the franchises, not the company, were responsible for following labor laws.

Regardless, the move has acted as a dog whistle on Twitter.

Credit: @NookAppolloni / Twitter

Sorry, @NookAppolloni, the move would be destroying hundreds of lives in the Northeast 💯.  The lawsuit targets stores in that area so the wish for California is kind of uneducated. With the inhumane conditions in detention centers and the increased privatization of said centers, it’s likely the most dangerous time to be an undocumented worker in the United States. 

Hypocrisy looks like knowing that Trump’s businesses employ undocumented workers without fear of consequence.

Credit: @JeffFromNH / Twitter

Being undocumented is not a gift or cheating the system. It is a burden to be someone who is more financially and socially vulnerable. Living undocumented means that, while on a quest for a better life, you have to forfeit basic human rights and live in fear that your employer might do something like this.

So, to the Latinx couple that found a screw in their Dunkin’ bagel this week, take it as a metaphor for what they are doing to undocumented people.

Credit: @Chris27Garcia / Twitter

Whatever the business motive is, the move is complicit in the inhumane detention of immigrants. A Jewish Holocaust historian coined the term, “the banality of evil,” which insinuates that evil doesn’t exist in a single mind alone. In order for it to be carried out, it must become pedestrian, seeped into a fabric of society until it is accepted.

READ: New Report Shows ICE Using DMV Data To Track People As Undocumented People Get Drivers Licenses

Motel 6 Was Giving Guests Lists To ICE, Now They Are Paying $20 Million To The Victims

Things That Matter

Motel 6 Was Giving Guests Lists To ICE, Now They Are Paying $20 Million To The Victims

A year and a half ago, people were appalled to know that the guests staying at Motel 6 in Arizona had their information compromised. It wasn’t hackers looking to score credit card information, but immigration officials aiming to track down undocumented immigrants.

When people realized that employees of Motel 6 gave away private information about hotel guests to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a boycott ensued. Furthermore — because that tactic is extremely illegal — immigration advocates sued on behalf of thousands of people.

A year later Motel 6 faced two class action lawsuits, one in Washington and another in Arizona. Both cases have closed in huge settlements.

Motel 6 settled their cases out of court and agreed to pay $20 million to all guests with “Latin-sounding names.”


The guests in Arizona got a whopping $7 million settlement, while in Washington, Motel 6 guests there will get $12 million. Guests with Latino-sounding names faced undue stress from having to answer ICE agents knocking on their room doors unexpectedly. However, there is one problem facing attorneys and those in the class action lawsuits.

Attorneys don’t know how to find the guests impacted by the lawsuits.

Some people stayed at Motel 6 under fake names, others perhaps are not in the country anymore, so lawyers have one year to find patrons of the motel or else all of that money goes to waste.

Each guest — roughly 80,000 people — have to either come forward to get their money or else they will just lose it. However, it’s only natural that people are afraid to come forward because of their immigration status.

“The concern here is that this could be a victory in name only,” Geoffrey Hoffman, director of the University of Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic told Bloomberg News. “It does create a situation here where the party is penalized, but how will it amount to restitution to compensate these victims if their clients have been deported, and any records of deportation are held by ICE?”

READ: Motel 6 Is Being Sued By Two States For Violating Privacy Acts By Giving Guests Lists To ICE

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