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ICE immigration officers swoop in on 7-Elevens nationwide

Immigration enforcement officers are making 7-Eleven stores a target in their crackdown on employers who hire undocum...

Posted: Jan 11, 2018 7:14 AM
Updated: Jan 11, 2018 7:14 AM

Immigration enforcement officers are making 7-Eleven stores a target in their crackdown on employers who hire undocumented immigrants.

On Wednesday, agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement descended on 98 7-Eleven franchise stores across the country, where they began audits and interviewed employees and managers, according to the agency.

Twenty one people suspected of being in the United States illegally were arrested.

"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," Thomas Homan, ICE's acting director, said in a statement.

It's the largest worksite enforcement operation against an employer under President Trump, ICE said.

Trump has been tough on immigration during his year in office, and Homan pledged to quadruple workplace crackdowns in October. Still, on Tuesday Trump seemed open to talk of comprehensive immigration reform. He also said he supports a fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children from deportation.

Related: Trump contradicts self repeatedly in immigration meeting

ICE said that officers targeted 7-Eleven stores in Washington, D.C., and 17 states: California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.

7-Eleven, in a statement, sought to distance itself from the hiring practices of store owners.

"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," the company said. "This means that all store associates in a franchised store are employees of the franchisee and not 7-Eleven Inc."

The company added that it "takes compliance with immigration laws seriously and has terminated the franchise agreements of franchisees convicted of violating these laws."

ICE characterized its action Wednesday as a "follow-up" to actions it took against 7-Eleven franchises in 2013.

Nine franchise owners and managers were arrested for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, use of stolen identities and concealing and harboring employees who were in the country illegally, according to ICE. All but one, who was a fugitive until November 2017, pleaded guilty, and they were forced to pay more than $2.6 million in back wages.

The raids on Wednesday were meant to ensure that "the company has taken the proper steps towards more responsible hiring and employment practices," ICE said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
Lafayette341053
Washington3321108
Lamar301950
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Lowndes252867
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Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
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Simpson154053
Adams147252
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Leake141844
Holmes134461
Covington130040
Tippah130030
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Hancock127641
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Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
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Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
Cullman472043
St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
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