Rep. Cook calls on Thomas McNutt to implement E-Verify at Collin Street Bakery

The following article was originally published on The Quorum Report.

Following a report that undocumented immigrants have worked at the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas House State Affairs Committee Chairman Byron Cook on Monday ratcheted up the heat on his GOP primary challenger Thomas McNutt by challenging him to implement the E-Verify system at the company where he is a vice president.

Dallas Morning News reporter Brittney Martin filed the story in which she detailed the fact that the bakery – known around the world for its fruitcakes – has had undocumented immigrants on its payroll. The McNutt campaign has disputed the facts in that report and has said the bakery follows the letter of the law in its hiring practices.

“My opponent is a hypocrite,” Cook said. “McNutt says he’s opposed to sanctuary cities, but is running a ‘sanctuary business’ himself because illegal aliens know the Collin Street Bakery and Navarro Pecan Company do not participate in the E-Verify program.”

In a blistering news release, Cook’s campaign on Monday also pointed to the 2005 death of an immigrant worker at Navarro Pecan Company, where the McNutt family owns 49 percent of the firm.

Cook’s campaign said McNutt should "unseal court records and OSHA records that show that the McNutt family has been keeping the public in the dark about their hiring illegal immigrants for at least the past 10 years." The death was the subject of a lawsuit that was settled under seal.

Spokesman for McNutt, Luke Macias, said the challenger’s campaign would not weigh in on whether the E-Verify system would be implemented at either company. Macias also said McNutt would not comment on why the Collin Street Bakery and Navarro Pecan Company would not use E-Verify, a program that is offered by the federal government free to employers to check legal status of new hires.

As for the death of the worker at the pecan company, Macias said, “Thomas had absolutely nothing to do with any business in 2005 since he was in middle school at the time.”

Rep. Cook was quick to respond to that, saying that McNutt is being deceptive about the way that case played out. "He may have been in middle school when the case started but he was a vice president at Collin Street when the case was settled and the records were sealed," Cook said.

The OSHA report from 2005 on the immigrant death at Navarro Pecan Company can be seen here.

“To be perfectly clear, in order to get a job at the Collin Street Bakery, every individual must provide multiple forms of legal identification and sign documentation asserting their ability to legally work in the United States,” Macias said. “Presenting forged documents or false statements are both federal crimes.”

Macias also sought to undermine the Dallas Morning News’ sources in its report.

“In the recent political attack, two former employees told the Dallas Morning News that they were illegal immigrants while holding temporary jobs at the Bakery years ago,” Macias said. “The Bakery has informed us that those individuals did indeed provide legal identification and sign the federally required documents. They either committed fraud then or were legally in the country at the time and have now overstayed their welcome."

Copyright February 01, 2016, Harvey Kronberg,, All rights are reserved. Republished with permission.


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