Following the acquisition of Philadelphia’s Vetri Family chain of restaurants by retail giant Urban Outfitters, 30 employees of the local food business have been laid off because of failed background immigration checks, Philly.com
After the acquisition by Urban Outfitters, all Vetri employees were offered employment but had to pass a background check via E-Verify, the online tool from the government used to check an employee’s immigration status.
Now 30 of the restaurant’s 400 staff members have been let go.
“It just sucks,” restaurateur Marc Vetri explained to Philadelphia Magazine
. “But this is what America is. My grandfather left Italy when he was 17 years old, stowed away on a ship. He got here illegally. But the war was happening, so they said, ‘You can fight for us! You’re an American now. We’ll waive that whole citizenship thing. Now go to war!’”
“But now you have a different circumstance. You have second- and third-generation immigrants who have raised families here, and there’s still no real road for them to get legal, even though they are the fabric of our society.”
Vetri is a staple of the Philadelphia restaurant scene, and one of its brands was recently ranked as one of the top Italian restaurants in the United States.
“What can be said about Marc Vetri’s hall-of-fame flagship that hasn’t already been said? Well, at the time of this writing, the national restaurant industry was abuzz with the news that the illustrious chef-restaurateur had sold much of his empire to Urban Outfitters. So there’s that,” Time Out
wrote in its ranking.
Matt Lee is a Web producer for Metro New York. He writes about almost everything and anything. Talk to him (or yell at him) on Twitter so he doesn’t feel lonely@mattlee2669.