ICE Conducts Nationwide Immigration Raids At 7-Eleven Stores

Immigration and Customs Agents make a massive and nationwide raid during the early hours of Wednesday

Agents visited 98 stores nationwide in 17 states and the District of Columbia. ICE arrests of suspected undocumented aliens are up 40 percent since Trump took office, federal stats show.

ICE said in a statement that the enforcement effort would "send a strong message" to employers to only hire documented workers.

ICE agents can serve a notice of inspection to alert businesses that officials are going to audit their hiring records to check for compliance with the law.

In a statement, the federal immigration agency said Wednesday's actions send a strong message to USA businesses hiring and employing illegal workers that the government will enforce the law.

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Irving-based 7-Eleven Stores Inc. released a statement saying that owners of its franchises are responsible for hiring their own employees and verifying their work eligibility.

Hellertown police officer Dominick Fragano informs a would-be customer that the 7-Eleven store is temporarily closed Wednesday morning.

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

Advocates for limiting immigration applauded the decision to go after employers. People who crossed the border illegally to work for often illegally low wages in unsafe conditions were arrested and deported, while the companies which profited from their labor and their illegal status were ignored. The agents opened employment audits, interrogated employees during the process. "The Mexican illegal immigration actually declined", Homan told the FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo on "Mornings with Maria".

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Four 7-Eleven stores in Metro Detroit were targeted Wednesday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials as part of a nationwide sweep.

"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", Derek Benner, acting head of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations, told the AP. "We are also going to concentrate on medium sized companies and small companies".

Although ICE's practice dates back to 2015 (according to the data compiled by the lawsuit), several local media have reported the arrests that occurred during the first months of 2017, including at least 20 arrests in two Motel 6 in Arizona during the month of February. "In a shift, the agency under President Barack Obama focused on catching border crossers, deporting convicted criminals and pursuing employers on paper, by inspecting the I-9 forms that employers are required to fill out and keep to verify their workers' eligibility".

ICE said it does not conduct raids, but said its "enforcement actions are targeted and lead driven". Federal agents were looking for workers that were hired illegally. It's easy to blame the president alone for the increase in immigrant arrests, but that increase doesn't tell the whole story: Trump's spike previous year still didn't come close to topping the peak reached under Barack Obama.

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