Nearly 100 7-Eleven stores have been targeted by immigration agents in what amounts to the largest immigration operation against an employer so far by the Trump administration:
Agents targeted about 100 stores nationwide, broadening an investigation that began with a 4-year-old case against a franchisee on New York’s Long Island. The audits could lead to criminal charges or fines over the stores’ hiring practices.
The action appears to open a new front in Trump’s sharp expansion of immigration enforcement, which has already brought a 40 percent increase in deportation arrests and plans to spend billions of dollars on a border wall with Mexico. Hardliners have been pressing for a tougher stance on employers.
Derek Benner, a top official at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told The Associated Press that Wednesday’s operation was “the first of many” and “a harbinger of what’s to come” for employers. He said there would be more employment audits and investigations, though there is no numerical goal.
“This is what we’re gearing up for this year and what you’re going to see more and more of is these large-scale compliance inspections, just for starters. From there, we will look at whether these cases warrant an administrative posture or criminal investigation,” said Benner, acting head of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, which oversees cases against employers.
George W. Bush’s administration came down hard on many employers during the final years of his presidency. Obama, to his credit, more than doubled the number of audits on employers during his time in office. Does the fact that such a large operation came so early in Trump’s term mean that his administration will be even harder on employers than they were?
No, of course not. This whole 7-Eleven operation is just a fluke. Haven’t you heard? Trump has completely caved on immigration and is going to fling the doors to the country wide open after building a small section of wall as a photo op location. After all, that’s what the Mainstream Media and NeverTrump conservatives are telling us, and they’ve been right about everything so far.
All the same, though, Apu might want to start getting his affairs in order.