This week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sent a strong message to employers: if you hire undocumented workers, they will be detained. To prove its message, ICE raided 98 7-Eleven store chains in 17 states, which resulted in the arrest of 21 employees. The New York Times reports that the Trump administration has called this raid “its largest enforcement operation against employers so far.” And more raids are expected in the near future.
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) January 12, 2018
“Today’s actions send a strong message to U.S. businesses that hire and employ an illegal workforce: ICE will enforce the law, and if you are found to be breaking the law, you will be held accountable,” said Thomas D. Homan, ICE Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director, in a press release. “Businesses that hire illegal workers are a pull factor for illegal immigration and we are working hard to remove this magnet. ICE will continue its efforts to protect jobs for American workers by eliminating unfair competitive advantages for companies that exploit illegal immigration.”
ALERT. An ICE raid may be planned for the 7-Eleven in Mt Pleasant neighborhood in Washington DC, at Mt Pleasant Rd & Kenyon. According to tip from @Univision reporter.
— Lacy MacAuley (@lacymacauley) January 12, 2018
According to The Oakland Press, ICE raided 7-elevens before dawn on Wednesday, Jan. 10. ICE served inspection notices to stores in the following states: California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington State, and Washington, D.C. Of the 98 stores raided, 16 of those are in New York City.
A 7-Eleven spokesperson stated the following in an emailed statement to The Oakland Press:
“7-Eleven franchisees are independent business owners and are solely responsible for their employees including deciding who to hire and verifying their eligibility to work in the United States….7-Eleven requires all franchise business owners to comply with all federal, state and local employment laws,” the statement continued. “7-Eleven takes compliance with immigration laws seriously and has terminated the franchise agreements of franchisees convicted of violating these laws.”
While this is the largest raid for a franchise company, two months ago we reported about a raid conducted at a a bakery in Chicago that lost 800 people due to ICE detainment.