Hundreds seek to fill vacant positions at Pro's Ranch MarketPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- Job hunters turned out in the hundreds to fill recently-vacant positions at Pro's Ranch Market stores, where a federal audit led to the firing of some 300 workers.
Roxanne Nieves, one of the many that came out in search of a job, said she came to apply after she heard about the layoffs.
"We heard they are firing a lot of illegal people, so we're here to apply," she said.
Nonetheless, she and many others felt guilty about taking the jobs of the people who had just been fired.
"To me, it's pretty hard to see everybody losing jobs," one job hunter said.
About 300 of the 1,500 total employees at the six Phoenix supermarkets were let go this week after an Immigration and Customs Enforcement audit found them to be working illegally.
Attorney Julie Pace said the company has I-9 forms on everyone and uses E-Verify to check employees' eligibility to work, but that is not always enough.
"The company wouldn't know if someone is using counterfeit documents," Pace said.
Pace also called on the federal government to help companies comply with hiring laws.
"We need an easy program for employers to use to hire people -- safe, easy, quick -- so we don't have to deal with ICE audits," she said.
Pro's Ranch Market is among some 1,600 U.S. businesses, including 84 in Arizona, that have undergone ICE audits since July 2009.
ICE says the goal is to reduce demand for illegal employment and protect job opportunities for the nation's lawful workforce.