ICE agents targeted 7-Eleven convenience stores. They serve as magnets for illegal aliens. This operation was the largest against a single employer under the Trump administration.
ICE agents conducted field audits of about 100 stores and arrested 21 illegal aliens.
Derek Benner, acting head of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, which oversees cases against employers, said the operation on Wednesday was the “the first of many” and “a harbinger of what’s to come” for employers, the AP reported.
“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,” he added.
According to AP, at one store in Los Angeles’ Korea town, seven agents arrived in unmarked cars and shut down the store for twenty minutes while interviewing the only employee on duty, who had a valid green card. The manager was in Bangladesh at the time. Agents advised the clerk and manager that they would be back on Tuesday for employment records.
Benner said that following the inspections and audits a determination will be made in each case as to whether further action, including criminal prosecutions, is warranted.
“It’s not going to be limited to large companies or any particular industry, big, medium and small,”he warned.
The Wednesday operation came as the result of a 2013 investigation that produced criminal charges against nine 7-Eleven franchisees and managers in Virginia and New York. Eight have already pleaded guilty and have been ordered to pay over $2.6 million in back wages.
A ninth defendant was just arrested in November.The investigation revealed that the managers used over 25 stolen identities to employ at least 115 illegal aliens, paying them below minimum wage and, of course, not hiring Americans for American jobs in the process.