In the inspections, store employees and managers were interviewed to ensure workers have proper work authorization, ICE said.
On January 10, 2018, HSI targeted 98 retail operations in nationwide worksite raids occurring in 17 states and Washington D.C. Such activity will likely be the first of many future worksite enforcement actions under the current administration. Still, on Tuesday Trump seemed open to talk of comprehensive immigration reform.
The investigation is ongoing. "It's not going to be limited to large companies or any particular industry, big, medium and small", Benner said. "It's going to be inclusive of everything that we see out there".
"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", Thomas Homan, ICE's acting director, said in a statement.
The company's franchisee agreement "requires all franchise business owners to comply with all federal, state and local employment laws", said the statement from 7-Eleven.
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. Businesses often calculate administrative fines as another cost of doing business.
According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ten raids took place in the DMV. In 2008, agents arrived by helicopter at the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, and detained nearly 400 workers. "Showing up at early hours across the country is showing enforcement muscle". Barack Obama more than doubled employer audits in 2013, according to ICE data.
Instead of helping America and its economy, this move is sure to only create more problems as employers will struggle to fill vacancies, and immigrants will have a hard time finding employment and will resort to other means of earning income.
7-Eleven stores are based in Irving Texas with more than 8,600 stores in the United States. Eight of the defendants pleaded guilty and were required to pay more than $2.6 million in back wages.
The individuals arrested face "removal from the country". The audits could result in criminal charges or fines for employers, the agency cautioned. Federal agents were looking for workers that were hired illegally. They delivered audit notifications and conducted interviews with workers, reported the Associated Press.
"Within 20 minutes, they verified that the cashier had a valid green card and served notice on the owner to produce hiring records in three days".
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