Employers in all industries are encouraged to review or enact a I9 E-verify program like www.i9compliance.com after the latest law enforcement raid on a employer.
In a pre-dawn raid early Wednesday morning, federal agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) agents raided locations of the retail chain 7-Eleven.
The agents targeted 98 stores and made 21 arrests of unauthorized or illegal immigrants who were working without proper USCIS Form I9 compliance paperwork or electronic certification.
“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 D. Homan, the agency’s top official, in a statement.
In 2016 a Nationbal Employer was fined $95 Million Dollars: Read:$95 Million Dollar i9 E-verify plea deal
Homan continued his statement that almost guarantees future E-Verify and I9 compliance audits will target employers in 2018. “Businesses that hire illegal workers are a pull factor for illegal immigration and we are working hard to remove this magnet,” Homan’s statement said. “ICE will continue its efforts to protect jobs for American workers by eliminating unfair competitive advantages for companies that exploit illegal immigration.”
As a designated E-Verify agent, Pre-employ.com’s fastest growing division, www.I9compliance.com offers e-verify for employers with electronic E-verify submission and record retention.
7-eleven stores in Washington, D.C., and 17 states: California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington were temporarily shut down during the raid.
Irving, Tex.-based 7-Eleven has more than 60,000 stores worldwide, according to its website. In a statement, the company said it was not responsible for the hiring decisions of individual franchise owners.
“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,” the company said in an emailed statement.
Last year, ICE said it conducted 1,360 employee audits, making more than 300 arrests on criminal and administrative violations. Businesses were ordered to pay $97.6 million in judicial forfeiture, fines and restitution, the agency said, and $7.8 million in civil fines.
“We are going to be doing more of this work and dedicating more resources to make sure businesses are complying with the law,” said Dani Bennett, an ICE spokeswoman. “This is a demonstration of our commitment to enforcing the law.”
Nearly 8 in 10 Americans said employers should be required to validate the immigration status of new hires, including 6 in 10 who support it strongly, according to a September 2017 Washington Post-ABC News poll.