Before dawn on Jan. 10, U.S. immigration agents raided nearly 100 7-Eleven convenience stores, arresting 21 people.
NBC News reported it was the biggest crackdown on a company suspected of hiring undocumented workers since President Donald Trump took office.
Immigration agents targeted 98 7-Eleven stores in 17 states nationwide, spanning coast to coast — from Los Angeles to New York. Top officials for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told NBC News the raids were a warning to other companies that may have unauthorized employees on their payrolls. Managers and franchise owners received three days to provide the agency with the immigration status of their workers.
Derek Benner, a high level ICE official, told NBC News that the raids were “a harbinger of what’s to come.”
7-Eleven released a statement noting it was aware of the ICE raids. Each franchise, it explained, is run by “independent business owners” who are “solely responsible for their employees, including deciding who to hire and verifying their eligibility to work in the United States.”
“7-Eleven takes compliance with immigration laws seriously and has terminated the franchise agreements of franchisees convicted of violating these laws,” the statement read.