Early Wednesday morning, dozens of 7-Eleven stores were raided and 21 arrests were made in connection with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Agents targeted nearly 100 convenience stores spanning from Los Angeles to New York. The raids were described as a “warning to other companies that may have unauthorized employees on their payroll.”
According to NBC News, ICE Director Thomas D. Homan said, “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.”
Since Donald Trump has taken office, ICE has reportedly made nearly 40% more arrests.
7-Eleven responded to the raids in a statement and said that each franchise is run by independent business owners who are “solely responsible for their employees, which include deciding who to hire and verifying their eligibility to work in the United States.”
The statement continues, “7-Eleven takes compliance with immigration laws seriously and has terminated the franchise agreements of franchisees convicted of violating these laws.”
The recent raids reportedly stemmed from a 2013 ICE investigation, which resulted in charges against nine 7-Eleven franchises and managers. Eight of those arrested were found guilty and ordered to pay more than $2.6 million in backed wages. The ninth person was arrested back in November.
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