Immigration agents conduct raids at 7-Eleven stores across country

Immigration agents conduct raids at 7-Eleven stores across country

Immigration agents conduct raids at 7-Eleven stores across country

In the largest-single crackdown operation, the U.S. Immigration and Customs, ICE officials raided almost 100 7-Eleven stores before dawn on Wednesday, arresting almost 21 people under suspicion of living illegally in the country. The newspaper said the audits could result in criminal charges or fines for stores found to be hiring undocumented immigrants. ICE Acting Direct Thomas Homan said in October that he wants immigration agents to devote "four to five times" more time on illegal hiring investigations to crack down on employers and unauthorized workers alike. Owners and managers have three business days to produce documents showing their employees are in the country legally or they could face civil and criminal penalties, ICE said.

"We've already increased the number of inspections and worksite operations, you're going to see that significantly increase this next fiscal year".

Irving, Tex. -based 7-Eleven has more than 60,000 stores worldwide, according to its website.

The raid comes as immigration has moved to the fore in Washington, and President Donald Trump has said he could support allowing so-called Dreamers to stay in the country if Democrats sign on to additional border security funding.

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"It's not going to be limited to large companies or any particular industry, big, medium or small,"Benner explained". Agents said they would return Tuesday for employment records they requested.

ICE spokesman Adrian Smith declined to answer additional questions, such as whether anyone from the Hellertown store was arrested or where the other Pennsylvania 7-Elevens targeted by the operation were located.

The Obama administration also routinely conducted such checks, serving more than 3,000 notices of inspection in 2013, according to ICE. Eight have since pleaded guilty at been ordered to pay back $2.6 million in stolen wages, ICE said.

"We need to make sure that employers are on notice that we are going to come out and ensure that they're being compliant", Benner said.

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"This obligation requires 7-Eleven franchisees to verify work eligibility in the USA for all of their prospective employees prior to hiring", the company statement said.

ICE states that, 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.

Wednesday's audits at 7-Eleven came as a result of a 2013 investigation of nine 7-Eleven stores on the East Coast. Officials said their actions are "targeted and lead driven", but a representative from the ICE Philadelphia Field Office, which oversees DE, would not say which stores were contacted or whether arrests were made.

Wednesday's raids represent the largest single-operation by ICE against employers under Trump.

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