Posted on October 5, 2012

U.S. AG’s Brother Appears to Employ Illegal Immigrants

Don Carrington, Carolina Journal, October 3, 2012

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s brother, William Holder, apparently employs illegal foreign workers at one or more of the four McDonald’s restaurants he and his wife Deborah purchased last year in Wake County, a Carolina Journal investigation has found.

A CJ reporter made approximately 30 visits in September to observe and talk with workers at the restaurants, at least one of which has been visited by the attorney general. The reporter was present during a conversation at which some employees stated they did not have a Social Security number, a green card, or any other document that would give them the legal authority to work in the United States.

One employee said he was planning to go through the “deferred action” program announced in June by President Obama that would allow young-adult illegal immigrants to receive legal-resident status and work permits. CJ also has a document corroborating that one of the workers does not have a green card or Social Security number.

The majority of the employees in each restaurant appear to be of Hispanic descent, and, when not interacting with customers, conversations between workers most often were in Spanish. In conversations with the reporter, some workers indicated they did not speak English.

William Holder has confirmed that his brother, the attorney general, visited the Knightdale location in January, or possibly December, soon after the Holders purchased the restaurants. While Eric was there, sources told CJ, he posed for pictures with employees and restaurant patrons.

After numerous unsuccessful attempts to speak with William Holder by phone, CJ contacted the McDonald’s regional corporate office in Raleigh on Sept. 25 and shared the observations about potential illegal hiring at the Holders’ McDonald’s locations. Spokeswoman Elizabeth Quenneville said she would respond to those observations, but by press time she had not responded.

The following day, after the conversation with McDonalds’ corporate office, CJ managed to reach William Holder by phone, and he said he did not employ illegal workers. “We have a process in place to make sure the paperwork is correct,” he said. He then suggested that CJ contact the McDonald’s corporate office and said he would have no further comment.

“All public information is released through the corporation,” he said.

However, on Sept. 27, CJ received an email, purportedly from Holder:

Mr Carrington, as a follow up on our conversation yesterday about my organization’s workforce, i wish to convey the following ; as a McDonalds franchisee, i take these matters seriously. My organization strives to comply with all local, state and federal employment and immigration laws. As an employer, i do not knowingly hire or employ undocumented or unauthorized workers. Our current job application process requires all individuals accepting employment to provide proof of their identity and authorization to work in the United States; they must also complete the federally mandated Form I-9 to document their authorization to be employed in this country. Every employee in my organization has done so and i have not received any credible evidence suggesting that any of my employees lack such employment authorization. If you have concrete and credible evidence to suggest otherwise, please share that information with me personally so that I can take appropriate action. We are an equal opportunity employer. We remain committed to diversity and will continue to hire, train, and promote a diverse workforce.

William Y. Holder
McDonald’s Owner / Operator

The email was sent from an address belonging to the NY/NJ Black McDonald’s Operators Association Inc. in Commack, N.Y. {snip}