Nearly 100 7-Eleven stores across the U.S. were the targets of pre-dawn raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. The raids resulted in only 21 arrests, but according to the New York Daily News, the franchise owners could face charges after agents review employment records they confiscated.
The early morning raids were part of the follow-up to an investigation started in 2013 that saw nine 7-Eleven franchise owners arrested for "harboring illegal aliens employed at their store."
Derek Benner, a top official with U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said that these raids were just the start, and that people should expect to see more in the future"
This is what we’re gearing up for this year, and what you’re going to see more and more of is these large-scale compliance inspections, just for starters
According to The Hill, ICE head Thomas Homan said "ICE will continue its efforts to protect jobs for American workers by eliminating unfair competitive advantages for companies that exploit illegal immigration."
In a statement, 7-Eleven says, "We are aware of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) actions taken at certain franchise locations. 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."
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