Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

ICE raids OR 7-Eleven stores, but makes no arrests

Image U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents serve an employment audit notice at a 7 Eleven convenience store Immigration agents raid 7-Eleven stores nationwide, arrest 21 people in biggest crackdown of Trump era
Kayla Schwartz | 13 January, 2018, 06:52

"Businesses that hire illegal workers are a pull factor for illegal immigration, and we are working hard to remove this magnet", Homan said.

A notice of inspection alerts business owners that ICE is going to audit their hiring records to determine whether or not they are in compliance with the law.

According to ICE, federal agents served inspection notices to 7-Eleven franchises in 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.

"Today's actions send a strong message to USA 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", ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan said in a statement. "7-Eleven takes compliance with immigration laws seriously and has terminated the franchise agreements of franchisees convicted of violating these laws".

"Under the current administration, all workers encountered during these investigations who are unauthorized to remain in the US are subject to administrative arrest and removal from the country", ICE said in its statement on the 7-Eleven operations.

"This obligation requires 7-Eleven franchisees to verify work eligibility in the U.S. for all of their prospective employees prior to hiring", the company noted in a statement to the press. They were trying to root out employers whose workers may be in this country illegally.

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Immigration activists, clergy members and others participate in protests against President Trump's immigration policies as the Trump administration continues to focus its attention on deportations and building a wall along the border of Mexico and the U.S.

George W. Bush's administration aggressively pursued criminal investigations against employers in its final years with dramatic pre-dawn shows of force and large numbers of worker arrests.

One of the biggest workplace immigration raids, in May 2008, resulted in the detention of almost 400 undocumented immigrants, including several children, at an Iowa meatpacking plant.

ICE published news accounts of the 7-Eleven raids on its Twitter account to further emphasize its stringent enforcement priorities with regard to employers and undocumented workers themselves. This means that all store associates in a franchised store are employees of the Franchisee and not 7-Eleven, Inc.

Rezaei noted the increase in targeting of immigrants since the advent of the Trump administration. All but one pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay more than $2.6 million. The agency started more reviews of forms that all employees must sign verifying their identity and immigration status.

"It's important for Trump to show that they're not just arresting the hapless schmo from Honduras but also but also the politically powerful American employer", he said.

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