7-11 Raids Show New Trump Administration Tactics

When agents raid workplaces, they may demand to see employees’ immigration documents and make arrests. After the agents leave, it is difficult for the government to penalize businesses that hire unauthorized immigrants. A primary goal of the raids is to dissuade those working illegally from showing up for their jobs.

The Trump administration is taking its drive against illegal immigration to the workplace. Raids by federal agents on dozens of 7-Eleven stores last week were the first big show of force meant to convey the consequences of employing undocumented people, reports the New York Times. “We are taking work-site enforcement very hard,” said Thomas Homan, Immigration and Customs Enforcement director, has said. “Not only are we going to prosecute the employers who knowingly hire the illegal aliens, we are going to detain and remove the illegal alien workers.” When agents raid workplaces, they often demand to see employees’ immigration documents and make arrests. After the agents leave, it is difficult for the government to penalize businesses that hire unauthorized immigrants.

A primary goal of such raids is to dissuade those working illegally from showing up for their jobs and to warn prospective migrants that even if they make it across the border, they may end up being captured at work. Targeting 7-Eleven, a mainstay in working-class communities from North Carolina to California, seems to have conveyed the intended message. “It’s causing a lot of panic,” said Oscar Renteria, who employs 180 farmworkers who are now pruning grapevines in the Napa Valley. When word of the raids spread, he received a frenzy of emails from his supervisors asking him what to do if immigration officers showed up at the fields. One sent a notice to farmhands warning them to stay away from 7-Eleven stores in the area. The Obama administration took a lower-profile approach to enforcement, auditing employers’ compliance in documenting their workers’ status without conducting many on-site investigations.

from https://thecrimereport.org