Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

United States officials raid 7-Eleven stores amid crackdown on illegal

United States officials raid 7-Eleven stores amid crackdown on illegal

All 21 people ICE arrested were employees, the agency confirmed.

On Thursday night, Inslee told Q13 News he was still looking into the report.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said the raids were a warning to other companies that have employed undocumented immigrants. It said department spokesman Brad Benfield confirmed the information.

7-Eleven Franchisees are independent business owners and are exclusively responsible for their employees including deciding who to hire and verifying their eligibility to work in the United States.

The Times noted DOL's practices seemingly contradict Inslee's 2017 executive order that Washington remains a state that "doesn't utilize state employees as agents of the federal immigration services". Accordingly 7- Eleven Stores Inc., based in Irving, Texas, with more than 8,600 stores in the United States, didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

"Businesses that hire illegal workers are a pull factor for illegal immigration and we are working hard to remove this magnet".

"7-Eleven takes compliance with immigration laws seriously and has terminated the franchise agreements of franchisees convicted of violating these laws", the statement read.

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"Under the current administration, all workers encountered during these investigations who are unauthorized to remain in the USA are subject to administrative arrest and removal from the country", ICE said in its statement on the 7-Eleven operations. Eight have pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay more than $2.6 million in back wages, and the ninth was arrested in November.

7-Eleven Stores Inc., based in Irving, Texas, said in a statement that the owners of its franchises are responsible for hiring and verifying work eligibility.

Wednesday's operation arose from a 2013 investigation that resulted in charges against nine 7-Eleven franchisees and managers in NY and Virginia.

In all, 16 of the 98 stores visited on Wednesday were in the New York City area, according to an ICE spokeswoman, Rachael Yong Yow, who would not specify their locations.

George W. Bush's administration aggressively pursued criminal investigations against employers in its final years with dramatic pre-dawn shows of force and large numbers of worker arrests.

While not raids specifically, agents arrived to conduct "compliance inspections".

Trump ran on a promise to crack down and deport undocumented workers.

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