On Wednesday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) targeted 7-Eleven stores nationwide in search of unauthorized workers and managers who knowingly hired them.
ICE agents swept in on 98 stores, in 17 states and made 21 arrests. The states included California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and Washington DC.
According to ABC news, ICE agents in Koreatown, California came in and verified that the cashier had a valid green card and served notice on the owner to produce hiring records in three days to check employees' immigration status.
In a statement ICE Deputy 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."
“Businesses that hire illegal workers are a pull factor for illegal immigration and we are working hard to remove this magnet. ICE will continue its efforts to protect jobs for American workers by eliminating unfair competitive advantages for companies that exploit illegal immigration,” Homan added.
In its own statement, 7-Eleven said it was aware of the ICE raids and stressed that each franchise is run by “independent business owners” who are “solely responsible for their employees, including deciding who to hire and verifying their eligibility to work in the United States.”
ICE did not comment on why they went after the Texas-based convenience store.