Inspection notices at 7-Eleven stores served by immigration officials

Image U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents serve an employment audit notice at a 7 Eleven convenience store

Immigration Agents raided 7-Eleven stores

Texas-based 7-Eleven, Inc. noted that the stores are owned as franchises by independent business owners who are exclusively responsible for verifying employment authorization and that "it has terminated the franchise agreements of franchisees convicted of violating these laws". "And with this recent round of workplace raids, they did also issue notice of inspections, so these 7-Eleven stores are still having to reply to the audits", she says.

US immigration agents raided dozens of 7-Eleven stores before dawn Wednesday and arrested 21 people in the biggest crackdown on a company suspected of hiring undocumented workers since President Donald Trump took office.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said the raids were a warning to other companies that have employed undocumented immigrants. As part of the 7-Eleven franchise agreement, 7-Eleven requires all franchise business owners to comply with all federal, state and local employment laws. Characterized as a "show of force" to highlight the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy with regard to undocumented individuals, this operation is the largest to date under the current administration.

The Wednesday dawn raids in 98 7-Eleven convenient stores resulted in the arrest of 21 people. If they can't find work, they won't come.

One of the biggest workplace immigration raids, in May 2008, resulted in the detention of almost 400 undocumented immigrants, including several children, at an Iowa meatpacking plant.

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Accompanying this decision is a two year initiative (Project Boost) to improve cash and profit in both parts of the business. Speculation has been ongoing for a while as to whether the firm would be a takeover target or decide to break itself up.

Eight of the accused wound up pleading guilty and were ordered to pay more than $2.6 million in back wages. Last month, Trump commuted the 27-year prison sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, former chief executive of what was the nation's largest kosher meatpacking operation.

Neither 7-Eleven nor was its parent company, Seven & I Holding Co. based in Tokyo, was charged in that case.

Under President George W. Bush, ICE grabbed headlines by rounding up unauthorized workers at meatpacking plants, fruit suppliers, carwashes and residences. In a statement, the acting director of ICE, Thomas Homan, said the actions were meant to send a strong message to employers that if they hire an illegal workforce, his agency will hold them accountable. Hardliners have been pressing for a tougher stance on employers. But, he said, the administration would need to go beyond audits.

The manager was in Bangladesh and the owner, reached by phone, told the clerk to accept whatever documents were served.

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