Federal Immigration Authorities Target 7-Eleven Stores

Federal Immigration Authorities Target 7-Eleven Stores

Federal Immigration Authorities Target 7-Eleven Stores

In their statement, ICE said: "ICE's worksite enforcement strategy focuses on the criminal prosecution of employers who knowingly hire illegal workers".

Inspection notices were served at 7-Eleven franchises in California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and Washington, D.C. Sixteen of the franchises were in the New York City area.

GONZALES: For its part, Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven said in an emailed statement that its franchisees are independent business owners and exclusively responsible for who they hire and verifying who is eligible to work.

"ICE will continue its efforts to protect jobs for American workers by eliminating unfair competitive advantages for companies that exploit illegal immigration", he added.

Derek N. Benner, another top ICE official, warned that Wednesdays's raids were "a harbinger of what's to come".

"It's not going to be limited to large companies or any particular industry, big, medium and small", Benner said.

MICHAEL KAUFMAN: There were a large number of workers who were arrested, but at the end of the day, it did not create a large deterrent, and it did nothing to solve the problem of the many undocumented workers that remain here contributing to our economy and supporting their families.

In a statement, 7-Eleven Inc., based in Irving, Tex., distanced itself from the situation, saying that the individual stores are franchises that belong to independent business owners, who "are exclusively responsible for their employees, including deciding who to hire and verifying their eligibility to work in the United States".

"As part of the 7-Eleven franchise agreement, 7-Eleven requires all franchise business owners to comply with all federal, state and local employment laws". "It's going to be inclusive of everything that we see out there", he said. From late January through August 2017, arrests by ICE were up more than 43 percent over the same period in 2016.

The federal operation was a follow-up to the 2013 arrests of nine 7-Eleven franchise owners and managers, ICE said in a statement. Several have pleaded guilty and forfeited their franchises, and have been ordered to pay millions of dollars in back wages owed to the workers.

The well-rehearsed scene, executed with quiet efficiency in Los Angeles' Koreatown, played out at about 100 7-Eleven stores in 17 states and the District of Columbia, a rolling operation that officials called the largest immigration action against an employer under Donald Trump's presidency. The ninth was arrested in November.

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