Comprehensive Immigration Solutions
7-Eleven stores in over 15 states have found themselves to be the focus of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as the agency increases its efforts in eliminating the hiring and employment of an illegal workforce in U.S. businesses. ICE has issued Notice of Inspections, commonly known as “Silent Raids,” to several 7-Eleven stores where the agency demands to see the I-9 forms of all employees; any employees without work authorization are then detained.
The I-9 form is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of all individuals (citizens and non-citizens) hired in the U.S. Thus far, ICE has detained 21 employees. Franchisees who have been found to hire unauthorized workers have been terminated.
The detention and/or deportation of unauthorized workers following silent raids is a significant shift in administrative policy. Under the Obama Administration, an employer was required to terminate employees who were unable to provide valid work authorization. The employer would also face a monetary penalty. Detention and/or deportation of unauthorized workers was not typically a result of silent raids.
The Trump Administration has proven to be consistent with its campaign rhetoric in that unauthorized employees are detained and/or deported regardless of whether they are a removal priority. As ICE continues carrying out these silent raids, it has become clear that workplace enforcement will increase and 7-eleven is just the beginning.
Employers are encouraged to have accurate records of internal workforce data and to identify vulnerable categories of employees. Agarwal Law Group works with employers to conduct internal I-9 audits and assists companies in developing I-9 compliance policies.