In a statement, 7-Eleven Inc., based in Irving, Tex., distanced itself from the situation, saying that the individual stores are franchises that belong to independent business owners, who "are exclusively responsible for their employees, including deciding who to hire and verifying their eligibility to work in the United States".
The chain with more than 8,600 convenience stores in the USA said it has previously ended franchise agreements for owners convicted of breaking employment laws. And under him, ICE has reportedly made almost 40 percent more arrests. Many a 7-Eleven franchise has been a steppingstone for new legal immigrants who want to own and run their own small businesses.
"So of course an employer can refuse to hire someone who's unauthorized, but we don't want employers making assumptions about someone due to their ethnicity or nationality", she says.
Wednesday's operation arose from a 2013 investigation that resulted in charges against nine 7-Eleven franchisees and managers in NY and Virginia. Several have pleaded guilty and forfeited their franchises, and have been ordered to pay millions of dollars in back wages owed to the workers.
Thomas Homan, Acting Director of ICE, noting that undocumented workers are a "pull factor" for illegal immigration, stated that "t$3 oday's actions send a strong message to USA 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".
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents serve an employment audit notice at a 7-Eleven convenience store on January 10, 2018, in Los Angeles.
US 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 's presidency.
ICE says immigration agents served I-9 audit notices to owners to make sure employees have the proper work authorization.
In all, 16 of the 98 stores visited on Wednesday were in the New York City area, according to an ICE spokeswoman, Rachael Yong Yow, who would not specify their locations.
But the ICE did not identify the nationalities of those arrested.
GONZALES: Critics say workplace enforcement actions during the George W. Bush administration were not effective.
ICE published news accounts of the 7-Eleven raids on its Twitter account to further emphasize its stringent enforcement priorities with regard to employers and undocumented workers themselves.
According to the WNDU16 the notices are meant to verfiy businesses are running with employees who have proper work authorization. In 2008, agents arrived by helicopter at the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, and detained almost 400 workers.