Immigration Agents Target 7-Eleven Stores in Push to Punish Employers

In a press release, 7-Eleven Inc., which is predicated in Irving, Tex., distanced itself from its franchisees, saying they have been unbiased enterprise house owners who “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,” the corporate stated.

If ICE hoped to make a daring assertion, it may hardly choose a extra iconic goal than 7-Eleven, a sequence recognized for its ubiquitous shops which are open on a regular basis and promote the much-loved Slurpees and Big Gulps. Many a franchise has been a steppingstone for brand spanking new, authorized immigrants who need to personal and run their very own small companies.

Not all franchisees have been scrupulous about whom they rent. ICE referred to as its Wednesday sweep a “follow-up” of a 2013 investigation that resulted in the arrests of 9 7-Eleven franchise house owners and managers on Long Island and in Virginia on expenses of using undocumented staff. Several have pleaded responsible and forfeited their franchises, and have been ordered to pay hundreds of thousands in again wages owed to the employees.

“This definitely sends a message to employers,” stated Ira Mehlman, the spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which favors extra limits on immigration and stricter enforcement.

According to ICE, federal brokers served inspection notices to 7-Eleven franchises in California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and Washington, D.C.

Employees at two 7-Eleven shops on Staten Island stated immigration brokers visited Wednesday. But after the brokers have been proven legitimate employment data with Social Security numbers, two staff at every of the shops stated, nobody was arrested. In all, 16 of the shops focused have been in the New York City space, stated an ICE spokeswoman, Rachael Yong Yow, who wouldn’t establish their places.

In Miami Beach, an worker at one 7-Eleven stated that whereas no brokers confirmed up at her retailer, her boss requested staff to be sure their employment data have been up-to-date, in case ICE continued its visits. Agents dropped in on 7-Eleven shops in seven southeast Florida cities, together with Miami Beach, Nestor Yglesias, an ICE spokesman, stated. He additionally declined to establish the shops.

Under President George W. Bush, ICE tended to make deportation arrests at worksites the federal government had purpose to consider employed undocumented staff. The company below President Barack Obama carried out extra inspections of the I-9 varieties employers are required to fill out and maintain to confirm their staff’ eligibility.

One of the most important office immigration raids, in July 2008, resulted in the detention of almost 400 undocumented immigrants, together with a number of youngsters, at an Iowa meatpacking plant. Sholom Rubashkin, the chief govt of the Agriprocessors plant, then the biggest kosher meatpacking operation in the nation, was ultimately convicted of financial institution fraud in federal court docket.

President Trump commuted Mr. Rubashkin’s 27-year jail sentence final month, after years of lobbying by a lot of outstanding attorneys and politicians who thought of his time period unduly harsh, and even perhaps anti-Semitic.

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