The gloves are off! Immigration officials raid dozens of 7-Eleven stores, arresting 21 illegals

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In the 2013 investigations, managers used more than 25 stolen identities to employ at least 115 people in the country illegally, knowing they could pay below minimum wage, according to court documents. The documents say 7-Eleven corporate office does automated payroll, requiring franchisees provide employee names and Social Security numbers to pay workers through direct deposit or check.

The 7-Eleven stores served on Wednesday will be required to produce documents showing they required work authorization, which Benner said will become more common. Audits may lead to criminal charges or administrative penalties.

In Los Angeles’ Koreatown, seven agents arriving in three unmarked cars closed a store for 20 minutes to explain the audit to the only employee there, a clerk with a valid green card. Agents, wearing blue jackets marked ICE, told arriving customers that the store was closed briefly for a federal inspection. A driver delivering cases of beer was told to wait in the parking lot.

The manager was in Bangladesh and the owner, reached by phone, told the clerk to accept whatever documents were served. Agents said they would return Tuesday for employment records they requested.

“Just as the IRS performs audits of people all the time of their tax returns, the same purpose here is to ensure a culture of compliance in this area,” Benner said.