American Politics

ICE Sweeps Down On 7-11 As Agency Begins Nationwide Audits of Companies #Trump #immigration #ICE

When companies begin fearing giving illegal aliens jobs, is when they will start going home in droves.

For 8 long years under the Obama regime, there was nary an employment check across the land, but a year into the Trump administration, it has reconvened.

U.S. immigration agents descended on dozens of 7-Eleven stores before dawn Wednesday to open employment audits and interview workers in what officials described as the largest operation against an employer under Donald Trump’s presidency.

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ICE agents targeted about 100 stores nationwide, NBC Miami reports, broadening an investigation that began with a 4-year-old case against a franchisee on New York’s Long Island. The audits could lead to criminal charges or fines over the stores’ hiring practices.

The action appears to open a new front in Trump’s sharp expansion of immigration enforcement, which has already brought a 40 percent increase in deportation arrests and plans to spend billions of dollars on a border wall with Mexico. Hardliners have been pressing for a tougher stance on employers.

Derek Benner, a top official at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told The Associated Press that Wednesday’s operation was “the first of many” and “a harbinger of what’s to come” for employers. He said there would be more employment audits and investigations, though there is no numerical goal.

“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. From there, we will look at whether these cases warrant an administrative posture or criminal investigation,” said Benner, acting head of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, which oversees cases against employers.

“It’s not going to be limited to large companies or any particular industry, big medium and small,” he said. “It’s going to be inclusive of everything that we see out there.”

7-Eleven Stores Inc., based in Irving, Texas, with more than 8,600 stores in the U.S., didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Though ICE agents arrested 21 people suspected of being in the country illegally during Wednesday’s sweep, the action was aimed squarely at management.

Illegal hiring is rarely prosecuted, partly because investigations are time-consuming and convictions are difficult to achieve because employers can claim they were duped by fraudulent documents or intermediaries. Administrative fines are discounted by some as a business cost.

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Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
January 10th, 2018

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