Scores of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and others from the Department of Homeland Security swarmed 100 7-Eleven convenience stores in 17 states and the District of Columbia on Wednesday in what administration officials are calling the largest immigration action against an employer during the Trump presidency.
The multi-state raids underscore President Donald J. Trump’s campaign commitment to enforce all immigration laws currently on the books, which includes those related to employers who are suspected of hiring illegal aliens.
A top ICE official told the AP that the multi-state audits rolled out this week are just “the first of many” as well as “a harbinger of what’s to come” for U.S. employers.
“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,” Derek Benner, acting head of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, which oversees cases against employers, told the newswire.
“It’s not going to be limited to large companies or any particular industry — big, medium and small,” he added.
Following the inspections, officials plan to look at whether the cases warrant administrative action or criminal investigations, Benner noted.
Since Trump took office, the administration has seen a 40 percent increase in deportation arrests. [source]
Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 2: PIR2: What are the new indicators of potentially disruptive social, cultural or political events? To subscribe to one of our threat intelligence newsletters: Click here.
(Analyst comment: Many political analysts — including this one — believe that Trump’s victory in November 2016 was largely tied to his pledge to enforce all immigration statutes while rolling back Obama-era immigration policies which were typified by lax enforcement of immigration law. While the Obama administration did deport a record number of people, record numbers of people attempted to sneak into the country during his tenure, largely because of his lax internal enforcement. One of Trump’s signature policies on immigration is tougher internal enforcement, and it appears that effort has begun in earnest. Some analysts don’t think the effort to target employers is ultimately going to be successful, however, since it’s difficult to prosecute an employer for hiring an illegal alien [employer can easily claim he/she was simply duped by the illegal alien]. Still, news of these raids will spread and they are very likely to have the desired effect of putting renewed fears into employers that they can certainly be fined and indicted for hiring illegal aliens. Also, news will spread among the illegal alien community that ICE is on the prowl, and that, frankly, is a better outcome.)