Washington, DC – The administration tightened the noose around illegal immigrants on Wednesday (Jan. 10) when agents with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted pre-dawn raids on 98 “7-Eleven” stores in 17 states and Washington, DC. The raids resulted in the arrest of 21 people on suspicion of being in the country illegally.
Federal immigration enforcement officials were looking for employees who are not authorized to work in the US, and those who employ them.
Commenting on the 7-Eleven operations, ICE Deputy Director and acting Director Thomas D. Homan said in a statement, “Today’s actions send a strong message to US 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.”
Homan noted, “Businesses that hire illegal workers are a pull factor for illegal immigration and we are working hard to remove this magnet.”
Moving forward, “ICE will continue its efforts to protect jobs for American workers by eliminating unfair competitive advantages for companies that exploit illegal immigration,” cautioned Homan.
The 7-Eleven convenience stores across the country are independently owned, many by South Asians, as franchises from the parent company 7-Eleven, Inc.
In a statement received by IAT, the parent company 7-Eleven, Inc. acknowledged the raids saying, “We are aware of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) actions taken at certain franchise locations.”
Highlighting that “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,” the Irving, Texas-based company said, “This means that all store associates in a franchised store are employees of the Franchisee and not 7-Eleven, Inc.”
Citing 7-Eleven’s franchise agreement, 7-Eleven, Inc. concluded in its statement, “7-Eleven requires all franchise business owners to comply with all federal, state and local employment laws. This obligation requires 7-Eleven franchisees to verify work eligibility in the US for all of their prospective employees prior to hiring. 7-Eleven takes compliance with immigration laws seriously and has terminated the franchise agreements of franchisees convicted of violating these laws.”
Immigration policy is under focus again this week after President Donald Trump hosted a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers over the future of recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which addresses the status of immigrants brought to the US illegally as children. There was discussion on immigration reforms which Trump is pushing Congress to design and move through the legislative process.
A tweet this morning (Jan. 11) from President Trump (@realdonaldtrump) summed up his administration’s views on illegal immigration: “45 year low in illegal immigration this year.”