In the early morning hours of Wednesday, January 10, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents raided ninety-eight 7-Eleven stores across the country and arrested a total of twenty-one employees. Seven of these stores were located in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Severna Park, Pasadena, Landover, Upper Marlboro, and Frederick. ICE also raided 7-Eleven stores in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and New York City. ICE did not comment on how much specific stores were affected or how many of the arrested employees were from Maryland.
This is the biggest action taken against employers to ensure they follow the correct procedure when hiring a new employee since Trump took office. “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,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deputy Director Thomas Homan said.
The director of Migration Policy Institute’s offices at NYU School of Law said: “For the Trump administration, it’s all about PR, They want to create the feeling that there’s a new enforcement regime in town.”
“As apart of the 7-Eleven franchise agreement, 7-Eleven requires all franchise business owners to comply with all federal, state, and local employment laws. This obligation requires 7-Eleven franchisees to verify work eligibility in the U.S. for all of their prospective employees prior to hiring. 7-Eleven takes compliance with immigration laws seriously and has terminated the franchise agreements of the franchisees convicted of violating these laws,” 7-Eleven Inc. stated in a press statement released after the immigration raids.
The operation on Wednesday morning was a follow up to the 2013 investigations into the 7-Eleven convenience store chain. The investigation led to charges against nine of the 7-Eleven stores and managers in New York and Virginia. ICE plans to enforce the correct procedures that need to be followed when hiring an employee so that employers do not continue to hire employees without having the proper documentation.