98 7-Eleven stores from Los Angeles to New York were reportedly raided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents early Wednesday morning (Jan. 10). The searches were conducted due to suspicions that the convenience store chain has been hiring undocumented immigrants since Donald Trump took office.
“Businesses that hire illegal workers are a pull factor for illegal immigration, and we are working hard to remove this magnet,” said the ICE’s Acting Director, Thomas D. Homan. “ICE will continue its efforts to protect jobs for American workers by eliminating unfair competitive advantages for companies that exploit illegal immigration.”
According to NBC News, 21 people were arrested, and Homan says that the raids should serve as a warning to other companies.
“Today’s actions send a strong message to U.S. businesses that hire and employ an illegal workforce,” he said. “ICE will enforce the law, and if you are found to be breaking the law, you will be held accountable.”
7-Eleven released a statement after news of the raids broke, noting that they are aware of the raids are will be compliant with immigration laws.
“The raids on Wednesday grew out of a 2013 ICE investigation that resulted in charges against nine 7-Eleven franchisees and managers in New York and Virginia who allegedly used more than 25 stolen identities to employ over 100 people who were in the country illegally,” explains NBC News.