ICE Conducts 'Slurpee Raids' on South Florida 7-Eleven Stores

ICE Conducts 'Slurpee Raids' on South Florida 7-Eleven Stores

In a statement, 7-Eleven Inc said its stores operate independently on a franchisee basis but they are required to adhere to all federal and local laws. "7-Eleven takes compliance with immigration laws seriously", said the statement, insisting the company "has terminated the franchise agreements of franchisees convicted of violating these laws".

"Businesses that hire illegal workers are a pull factor for illegal immigration and we are working hard to remove this magnet".

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), whose officials carried out the raid in 18 States and the District of Columbia, arrested more than 21 people.

MICHAEL KAUFMAN: There were a large number of workers who were arrested, but at the end of the day, it did not create a large deterrent, and it did nothing to solve the problem of the many undocumented workers that remain here contributing to our economy and supporting their families.

Under President Trump, ICE has significantly expanded immigration enforcement, arresting undocumented immigrants in their homes or when they check in with federal agents as part of immigration court cases. The Florida locations were just some of the almost 100 7-Eleven locations that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were looking into.

More news: Suspect in custody after police chase Greyhound bus

Eight of the accused wound up pleading guilty and were ordered to pay more than $2.6 million in back wages.

Unlike other enforcement efforts that have marked Trump's first year in office, Wednesday's actions were aimed squarely at store owners and managers, though 21 workers across the country were arrested on suspicion of being in the country illegally. Agents dropped in on 7-Eleven stores in seven cities in southeast Florida, including Miami Beach, according to Nestor Yglesias, an ICE spokesman; he, too, declined to identify specific stores.

George W. Bush's administration aggressively pursued criminal investigations against employers in its final years with dramatic pre-dawn shows of force and large numbers of worker arrests.

Workplace raids like the one ICE just conducted at 7-Elevens tend to spread fear in undocumented communities by sending a message that undocumented workers are at risk of being targeted by agents at any time and potentially deported.

The inspection notice, technically known as an I-9 audit, allows ICE agents to inspect government forms that verify employees' identity and their authorization to work within the United States.

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