Bakery Hires Illegal Aliens, Fears for its Buns

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently raided the Cloverhill Bakery in Chicago and removed 800 illegal alien workers.

Cloverhill is owned by Swiss conglomerate Aryzta AG. It makes buns for McDonald’s hamburgers. Apparently, Aryzta likes the business it gets from the iconic American fast-food chain. But it doesn’t seem to like hiring American workers. They probably cost too much. So Aryzta just hires illegal aliens who are likely to work for lower wages and file fewer complaints about working conditions or on-the-job injuries.

Employing illegal aliens – or anyone else who is not authorized to work in the U.S. –  is a violation of federal law. Hiring hundreds of them can result in massive fines and other civil penalties. But reading the mainstream media’s coverage of this story, you’d think that Aryzta merely broke some foolish regulation specifying what type of napkins must be provided in the employee lunch room.

According to Bloomberg, “The raid on workers at Cloverhill is one of the biggest U.S. employment headaches reported by a European company so far as President Donald Trump has made curbing undocumented immigration a centerpiece of his presidency.”

The Belleville News Democrat notes that Aryzta is struggling, “… to find enough workers and will have to increase its wages….

And EaterChicago whined that, “… when a large European conglomerate reports that the new immigration policy has negative effects on its bottom line, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate priorities.”

Actually, President Trump seems to have his priorities in order. He has put the interests of American workers first. That’s why he directed ICE to increase its worksite enforcement activities.

If Aryzta were baking its bun in its home country of Switzerland, instead of Chicago, the company wouldn’t be able to increase its profits by exploiting illegal alien labor:

  • Under Swiss law, anyone who is not a citizen must have a work permit.
  • Authorization to work is only granted to senior managers and specialists with a valid visa.
  • There is a cap on the number of work permits that may be issued.
  • And Swiss employers who hire foreign nationals without work authorization are subject to imprisonment of up to one year – as are the unauthorized employees.

So, the Trump administration seems to be on the right track. And if Aryzta  continues to violate U.S. immigration law, ICE and the Department of Justice should run its buns out of town.

About Author


Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats. He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.


  1. avatar
    John D. Horton on

    I hope the company or hiring manager is criminally prosecuted. Hiring 800 illegal aliens can’t be an “accident” or oversight.

    It is definitely a crime not to properly do federal income tax, Social Security, FICA etc. withholding’s so that is another basis of criminal prosecution.