Lynch Law Firm, PLLC
7-11 Raided by ICE
President Trump ran on a platform that focused intently on illegal immigration and the deportation of those living and working in the United States illegally. In his first year in office, he has attempted to make good on his promise to crack down on undocumented workers. In the last 12 months, ICE raids and ICE arrests have risen drastically. The most recent raid on 7-11 spanned 17 states and netted 21 arrests.
The 7-11 Raid
On January 10, 2018, agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency led a raid that included 98 7-11 locations across the country. The strike involved locations from Los Angeles to New York. 21 people were arrested during the raids. Agents were looking at locations that employed immigrants who do not have clearance to work in the United States.
ICE did not provide details on why 7-11 was targeted for the raid. Agents targeted locations in 17 states and Washington D.C. Managers and owners were given three days to produce immigration documentation for employees. If proper documentation is not provided franchise owners will face charges and may be liable for back wages and additional fines.
The company has been on the radar since 2013 when nine different franchises were charged with violating immigration laws. The 2013 raid uncovered evidence that 25 stolen identities were used to employ 100 people in New York and Virginia.
7-11, based in Irving, Texas, released a statement indicating they take such laws seriously, and have terminated the franchise license of locations that have violated immigration and employment laws. The company noted, however, that each location is independently-owned and operated. Franchise owners are responsible for all hiring and are tasked with collecting proper documentation for their workers.
While the raid has made major headlines, it isn’t the first of its kind. According to Newsweek, by January 2018, ICE arrests have increased 40% since President Trump took office. ICE has been given the green light to arrest individuals suspected of being in the country illegally, and more illegal aliens are being processed by ICE than ever before.
The raid also comes on the heels of a court battle between several attorney generals attempting to block actions that would make individuals brought to the country illegally as children vulnerable to deportation.
In a statement released to the press, ICE warned that all businesses should be on alert and check the documentation of their workers. The agency is gearing up for more compliance inspections as the year progresses.
What You Need to Know About Undocumented Workers
According to the Pew Research Center, there are over 11 million undocumented citizens. Texas is believed to have a population of 1.6 million undocumented citizens, trailing only California for the most substantial undocumented population.
Undocumented workers can be found in a variety of different fields, but most are working in farming, construction, and service-based roles, according to Pew Research Center. Undocumented workers make up 26% of the workers in the farming industry, while only representing 5% of the overall workforce. In service-based jobs undocumented workers represent up to 32% of the workforce, depending on the state.
What Responsibility does an Employer Have?
Under federal law, employers are required to acquire and inspect documentation that proves an individual is eligible to work in the United States. While employers are required to check documentation, they are not tasked with playing detective. You, as an employer, should check documentation against federal guidelines and examples. If the documentation appears to match the person applying for employment, you can assume the documentation is accurate.
If documents that seem to be tampered with, or do not match the stats of the person applying for employment are provided, you can ask for other forms of documentation or reject the documents. For example, check to ensure unchanging, identifying features matches, such as the eye color and height.