Dr. M.‘s immigration crusade

Individuals who have apparently taken it upon themselves to track and expose undocumented workers have found a friend in Carl Mumpower, who’s put their efforts to use in his ongoing campaign against illegal immigration. When the Asheville City Council member and congressional candidate caught wind of rumors that Sonopress, a digital-media manufacturer and one of the area’s largest employers, allegedly hires undocumented workers, he was propelled to swift action.

“It’s really kind of funny,” says Mumpower. “Since I started making an issue of it, I’ve had more people coming forward. Some I know; some I don’t know; some are friends of neighbors.” Sonopress is based in Weaverville, not Asheville—the city Mumpower was elected to serve—but he says several of those who raised concerns are Asheville residents.

One of the tips came in the form of a letter. The writer, who addressed him as “Dr. M.,” informed Mumpower that “two of my ‘illegal’ employees [went] to work for Sonopress. I know they were illegal due to one [Social Security] number beginning with ‘9.’ … He returned about [six] months later with a different name and driver’s license number (compliments of the brainiacs at NC DMV). One didn’t speak a lick of English. … I can remember one name, [omitted]. … He was also receiving Medicade [sic]/Medicare and WIC. Great country ain’t it!” Mumpower declined to provide the name or any background information about his informant, who is presumably a former employer of illegal immigrants.

Resting his case on this and a handful of similar tips, Mumpower wrote to Sonopress Chief Operating Officer Joe Mann-Stadt, informing him of “rumors” that Sonopress was using “temporary illegal-alien contract workers.”

“‘Permanent’ temporary jobs displace local workers and, in the case of illegal aliens, help fund the migration of citizens from other countries to the U.S. and create an unlevel playing field for employers who are playing it straight with our employment laws,” wrote Mumpower. He attached a copy of the Federal Immigration and Nationality Act, which states that an employer who hires an “alien” can face imprisonment, and sent a copy of the letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“I have strong feelings about the harms of illegal immigration. And I’m going to pursue it any way I can,” Mumpower told Xpress. “I believe strongly that Sonopress is sidestepping the rules, directly or indirectly.”

Sonopress deferred press calls about the incident to spokesperson Andy Meltzer of the public-relations firm Matter Communications, who read a statement prepared by Mann-Stadt.

“Like many manufacturers, Sonopress engages a temporary-staffing agency to supply workers on an as-needed basis, allowing the company to meet seasonal and other shifting labor demands,” he said. “Sonopress has sought and received written assurances on a regular basis from Employment Staffing Inc., our temporary-staffing agency, that it complies with all laws relevant to the workers it provides to Sonopress, including verification of their authorization to work in the United States.” The company employs 650 to 750 full- and part-time employees, Meltzer added, depending on seasonal needs.

“It’s statistically highly unlikely that this is the reality,” responded Mumpower in an interview with Xpress. “The greater reality is that some of the parties involved have found ways to sidestep the system.” And in his letter to Sonopress, he asserted that the company has a high number of non-English-speaking, Hispanic employees. Mumpower says he has no plans to contact Employment Staffing Inc.

Instead, he hopes to challenge Sonopress directly by preparing a list of individual employees who are in this country illegally. “Have you heard about this lady out in Hendersonville that has five children that’s being deported? She’s a pretty notorious person for abusing the system,” says Mumpower. “And she was a former Sonopress employee. So we know of one.” To obtain proof that there are others, he has put out a call for “creative community action,” asking people to provide him with the names and other “specific information” about known illegal immigrants.

Who does Mumpower think might have access to that information? “Anybody that worked there and was exposed to some of the internal realities. And I’m hoping that articles like yours and other papers’ will stir people up.”


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13 thoughts on “Dr. M.‘s immigration crusade

  1. lokel

    Creative Community Action!

    Why should the community do anything about this, all that needs to be done is to have ICE show up unannounced and haul them all away!

    But guess what, the Feds don’t give a crap about it, they and the President are all in the pockets of big business.

    The crazy thing is that if the illegals were removed from Sonopress, Meltzer would probably say that they could not continue to operate without them.

    I would be interested in what US-ICE had to say, if anything, in the response to Dr. M!

  2. Bitter EX democrackkk

    EXCELLENT! Dr. Mumpower knows what kind of action will get HIM elected! Go Dr. M, we LOVE you!!!

  3. Jill

    Why would Mumpower decline to contact Employment Staffing, Inc.? They are the employer of many temporary workers at Sonopress and many other local businesses. It is their responsibility to take the steps necessary to make sure their employees are legal to work and they are the ones who should be held liable if they do not.

  4. I’m sure he’s not bothering to contact the temp agency in question because he feels that his point is proven, Q.E.D.

    And something tells me that the third commenter got lost on his way to the Citizen-Times’ message boards.

  5. curmudgeon

    >>”One didn’t speak a lick of English…”

    Hmmm, just like my grandparents.

  6. Did you know, Curmudgeon, that 100% of kids born in North Carolina hospitals DO NOT speak English at birth?

    Horrible. Something should be done.

  7. Rob Close

    but seriously, why is he not willing to even talk to the staffing company? doesn’t this burden of proof fall onto them first?



  9. travelah

    Every single position taken by an undocumented “permanent temporary” worker from an agency is one less job for the local population. Of course that does not really matter a great deal to those who are not concerned with depressed wage rates, lack of affordable housing and never expect to be able to earn the minimum to purchase their share of a fast diminishing apple pie. If you continue to allow the fauxprogs to think for you and shape your responses, you too can share in the crumbs of a great “progressive society”.

  10. nuvue

    Boy is this a double edged sword….If you bust the illegals and make the business hurt, they could pack up and move to India or El Salvador. They will get a tax break from this admin to boot.

    At least undocumented workers spend a little bit of $ locally after getting it. But if we keep hiring undocs more will come. Make that or those businesses show proof of citizenship…I have to for a little construction co.

  11. Nam Vet

    Sorry,illegal is illegal. I have known several illegal aliens and by far they are a hardworking family-oriented bunch. BUT there are so many here and they discover “social services” and collect welfare. Their children are delivered for”free” courtesy of us taxpayers. They collect AFDC and Food stamps. And most cannot speak Englis. They have fake Social Security cards and drive illegally. Are we crazy? The democrats want to give them amnesty because they assume they will VOTE for them. Talk about anti-American.Fuck the democrats. I want our laws enforced.

  12. ashevillian

    Joe Mann-Stadt has transitioned out of his role as COO and is now serving as “Marketing Executive, video.”

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