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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On January 10, 2018, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – the agency enforcing federal laws governing immigration – targeted 98 7-Eleven stores in the U.S. and arrested 21 suspected illegal immigrants in a nationwide crackdown on employers hiring undocumented workers, CNN reports.

“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,” ICE Acting Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan said in a statement about the 7-Eleven operation.

CNN reports that ICE officers targeted 7-Eleven stores in Washington, D.C., as well as 17 states that included California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington.

“Businesses that hire illegal workers are a pull factor for illegal immigration and we are working hard to remove this magnet. ICE will continue its efforts to protect jobs for American workers by eliminating unfair competitive advantages for companies that exploit illegal immigration,” Homan said.

CNN reports that 7-Eleven sought to distance itself from the hiring practices of store owners in a statement: “7-Eleven franchisees are independent business owners and are solely responsible for their employees including deciding who to hire and verifying their eligibility to work in the United States.”

In a speech in October 2017, Homan said ICE “already increased the number of inspections in work site operations” and would “significantly increase this next fiscal year.” He also ordered the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to increase time spent on work site enforcement “by four to five times.”

The “ICE Impact in FY 2017” report revealed that the agency totaled 143,473 administrative arrests in FY 2017, with 110,568 of those arrests occurring after start of the Administration of President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017, a 42 percent increase over the same time period in FY 2016.

ICE – which was created in 2003 through a merger of the former U.S. Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service – has more than 20,000 employees in more than 400 offices in the United States and 46 foreign countries. To learn more about ICE, visit

The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 makes it “unlawful for a person or other entity… to hire, or to recruit or refer for a fee, for employment in the United States an alien knowing the alien is an unauthorized alien.” Employers that hire illegal workers may be subjected to federal sanctions.

IS Your Company Ready for an ICE Worksite Inspection?

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check firm – is also a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent that helps employers with E-Verify and Form I-9 compliance to ensure they hire employees legally eligible to work in the United States. To learn more about ESR, visit

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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