The Trump administration’s ICE Deputy Director issued a warning to U.S. businesses that knowingly hire illegals just after raiding almost 100 convenience stores in pre-dawn raids.
“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,” said Thomas D. Homan, ICE Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director. “Businesses that hire illegal workers are a pull factor for illegal immigration and we are working hard to remove this magnet. ICE will continue its efforts to protect jobs for American workers by eliminating unfair competitive advantages for companies that exploit illegal immigration.”
The statement came just hours after ICE announced that they had raided nearly 100 7-Eleven stores across the nation to secure evidence that the chain was knowingly and willingly hiring illegal aliens against federal law. 21 people were arrested and will be required to show that they required work authorization or face criminal or administrative penalties.
“We need to make sure that employers are on notice that we are going to come out and ensure that they’re being compliant,” ICE’s Executive Associate Director Derek Benner told reporters. “For those that don’t, we’re going to take some very aggressive steps in terms of criminal investigations to make sure that we address them and hold them accountable.”
7-Eleven is based in Irving, Texas, near Dallas, and immediately sought to distance themselves from the illegal hiring practices.
“We are aware of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) actions taken at certain franchise locations,” the parent company said in a statement. “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.”
“7-Eleven takes compliance with immigration laws seriously and has terminated the franchise agreements of franchisees convicted of violating these laws,” added.