U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents shutdown 98 7-Eleven franchise stores in the early morning hours Wednesday, in a nationwide set of raids that just brought the Trump administration’s crackdown on undocumented workers to a level we’ve never seen before.
ICE sent its agents to the 98 7-Elevens to deliver “audit notifications and conduct interviews at 6 a.m.” This led to the temporary shutting down of 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.
ICE claims it arrested 21 different individuals and issued a warning that this is just the beginning. “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’s top official, in a statement.
ICE has become increasingly more aggressive thanks to harsh enforcement initiatives by Trump. We all heard him talk about deportations during the campaign and nothing has changed.
“We are going to be doing more of this work and dedicating more resources to make sure business are complying with the law,” said Dani Bennett, an ICE spokesperson, “This is a demonstration of our commitment to enforcing the law.”
“Businesses that hire illegal workers are a pull factor for illegal immigration and we are working hard to remove this magnet,” Homan’s statement reads, “ICE will continue its efforts to protect jobs for American workers by eliminating unfair competitive advantages for companies that exploit illegal immigration.”
The 7-Eleven stores that were targeted have three days to provide ICE with information about the immigration status of all its employees.