ICE targets four 7-11 stores in metro Detroit looking for undocumented immigrant workers

January 11, 2018 in News by Slad


Source: Detroit Free Press | 

Pushing for compromise on immigration reform, President Donald Trump urged a bipartisan group of lawmakers gathered at the White House to put “country before party” and negotiate a deal in two phases, first by addressing young immigrants. (Jan. 9) AP

As part of a nationwide immigration sweep, four 7-Eleven stores in metro Detroit were targeted Wednesday by federal immigration agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigating undocumented immigrant workers.

One 7-Eleven employee in metro Detroit was arrested for immigration violations.

Agents with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) served notices of inspections (NOIs) to four 7-Eleven stores locally, part of 98 stores targeted nationally, said Khaalid Walls, spokesman for the Detroit office of ICE. The notices are also known as I-9 audit notices and are similar to serving a subpoena.

The federal agents interviewed store employees and managers at the 7-Eleven stores, said ICE in a statement provided by Walls. ICE did not disclose which 7-Eleven stores in metro Detroit were targeted.

Nationally, 21 immigrants with 7-Eleven “suspected of being in the U.S. illegally were administratively arrested and given notices to appear in immigration court,” said ICE.

The notice of inspections “are a tool used by ICE to ensure that businesses are operating with employees who have proper work authorization,” ICE said.

“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,” said Thomas Homan, ICE Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director. “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.”

In addition to Michigan, ICE agents also went to 7-Eleven stores in Washington D.C., California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington.

In a statement, 7-Eleven said: “We are aware of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) actions taken at certain franchise locations. 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. This means that all store associates in a franchised store are employees of the Franchisee and not 7-Eleven, Inc.

“As part of the 7-Eleven franchise agreement, 7-Eleven requires all franchise business owners to comply with all federal, state and local employment laws. This obligation requires 7-Eleven franchisees to verify work eligibility in the U.S. for all of their prospective employees prior to hiring. 7-Eleven takes compliance with immigration laws seriously and has terminated the franchise agreements of franchisees convicted of violating these laws.”

In their statement, ICE said: “ICE’s worksite enforcement strategy focuses on the criminal prosecution of employers who knowingly hire illegal workers. ICE will also continue to use I-9 audits and civil fines to encourage compliance with the law.

ICE added: “Under the current administration, all workers encountered during these investigations who are unauthorized to remain in the U.S. are subject to administrative arrest and removal from the country.”

Contact Niraj Warikoo: or 313-223-4792. Follow him on Twitter @nwarikoo