Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Culture | By Stewart Greene

ICE Raids Nearly 100 7-Eleven Stores

ICE Raids Nearly 100 7-Eleven Stores

Audits may lead to criminal charges or administrative penalties.

"Clearly the Trump Administration has made it a priority to target for enforcement action non-criminal aliens - and in the case of workplace enforcement - undocumented or unauthorized immigrants who are working and likely paying taxes". Some have been pressing for a tougher stance on employers. He said there would be more employment audits and investigations, though there is no numerical goal. "We are also going to concentrate on medium sized companies and small companies". "It's going to be inclusive of everything that we see out there", he said.

Irving, Tex. -based 7-Eleven has more than 60,000 stores worldwide, according to its website. As the investigative team at the Naples Daily News expertly detailed last month, Florida law is basically created to let employers hire undocumented people as little more than indentured servants in risky and labor-intensive jobs such as construction and farm work. In 2008, agents arrived by helicopter at the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, and detained almost 400 workers. Under President Obama, the audits went to 3,100 per year in 2013.

"ICE's claim is that it's going after employers through a raid like this, but we know from what's been reported so far, they're going after employees and so far bystanders, too", she said.

While hosting Republican and Democratic lawmakers at the White House on January 9, President Trump said the U.S. Under President George W Bush, agents would raid places that they suspected employed people illegally in the US.

The raids on Wednesday were meant to ensure that "the company has taken the proper steps towards more responsible hiring and employment practices", ICE said.

The operation marks the expansion of an investigation into a string of NY and Virginia franchises first opened in 2013, when it was discovered several managers there used stolen identities to employ at least 100 people in the country illegally. All but one, who was a fugitive until November 2017, pleaded guilty, and they were forced to pay more than $2.6 million in back wages.

Under federal law, employers are required to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all hired individuals. While on site, ICE agents conducted interviews with the stores' employees and managers, and asking them to produce papers for employees to make sure they are working legally here.

Immigration advocates from NY to Los Angeles condemned the latest raids as only bringing fear into communities.

On January 10, 2018, HSI targeted 98 retail operations in nationwide worksite raids occurring in 17 states and Washington D.C. Such activity will likely be the first of many future worksite enforcement actions under the current administration. A driver delivering cases of beer was told to wait in the parking lot. A clerk told CBS13 agents had a very specific request.

One employee was observed to be in handcuffs, an eyewitness said.

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