State Department of Licensing gives residents' personal information to ICE agents

State Department of Licensing gives residents' personal information to ICE agents

GONZALES: For its part, Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven said in an emailed statement that its franchisees are independent business owners and exclusively responsible for who they hire and verifying who is eligible to work.

A notice of inspection alerts business owners that ICE is going to audit their hiring records to determine whether or not they are in compliance with the law.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents serve an employment audit notice at a 7-Eleven convenience store on January 10, 2018, in Los Angeles.

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. Many a 7-Eleven franchise has been a steppingstone for new legal immigrants who want to own and run their own small businesses.

The news outlet reports that a Homeland Security investigation of multiple 7-Eleven franchises resulted in arresting nine owners as well as managers for conspiring to commit wire fraud, stealing identities and concealing as well as harboring illegal aliens employed at their store back in 2013.

"This obligation requires 7-Eleven franchisees to verify work eligibility in the USA for all of their prospective employees prior to hiring", the company noted in a statement to the press.

In the coming days, the ICE is expected to carry out more similar raids across the country as part of the Trump administrations efforts against illegal immigrants in the country.

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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.

In 2008, the Bush administration's previous year, ICE conducted 503 such audits of employers and barred one from winning federal contracts, the Migration Policy Institute.

A large number of 7-Eleven convenience stores in the USA are owned by Indian-Americans. John Sandweg, an acting ICE director under Obama, said significant fines instilled fear in employers and draining resources from other enforcement priorities.

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. Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, said Wednesday events offered "a good sign" that the administration was serious about going after employers.

Previous administrations focused either on employers or workers, but President Trump is targeting both groups with an all-of-the above approach.

"This administration thrives on public relations", he said. The clerk told agents he had no knowledge of documents required to prove eligibility to work and was asked to pass along brochures for voluntary programs aimed at better compliance with immigration laws.

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