The gloves are off in the battle over illegal immigration, as officials have raided one of the nation’s largest convivence stores.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents descended on dozens of 7-Eleven stores in the pre-dawn hours on Wednesday, opening employment audits and conducting interviews with workers, the Associated Press reported.
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.
And the move will not be the only such operation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official Derek Benner told the AP, calling the raid the first of many” and “a harbinger of what’s to come.”