ICE Raids 7-Eleven Stores Nationwide in Search of Illegal Immigrants
Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted sweeps of 98 stores in 17 states and Washington, D.C., arresting 21 people on suspicion of being in the country illegally.
"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 D. Homan, ICE's deputy director, said in a statement.
Homan said immigration authorities are making an effort to target employers who hire unauthorized workers, in addition to the workers themselves.
"Businesses that hire illegal workers are a pull factor for illegal immigration and we are working hard to remove this magnet," he said.
Advocates for less immigration applauded the decision to go after employers. "People come here to find work. If they can't find work, they won't come," Peter Nunez of the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates stricter limits, told Gonzales. "No one questions that the way to stop illegal immigration is to stop them from getting jobs," he added.
Critics have accused the administration of using these tactics to strike fear in the immigrant community.
"This is yet another example of the escalating attacks from the Trump administration and its rogue ICE agency on immigrant communities. This is a family separation tactic — nothing more, nothing less — meant to stoke fear in the hearts of our community," Cristóbal Gutierrez, employment legal advocate at Make the Road New York, said in a statement.
"Workers have rights in this country, regardless of immigration status," he said, and encouraged all workers to review their rights in case of an ICE raid.
Image: "English: A 7-Eleven store at Sukhumvit, Bangkok in Thailand" by Omio Asad. Used under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Cropped from original.
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