- U.S. immigration agents raided nearly 100 7-Eleven convenience stores Jan. 10, according to various media reports. The operation represents U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) biggest single-employer crackdown on alleged immigration violations during the Trump administration. Store mangers were targeted and 21 employees believed to be undocumented immigrants were arrested.
- Deportations of undocumented individuals increased nearly 40% from the same period in 2016 under the administration's enforcement policy, ICE announced late last year. The 7-Eleven raids stemmed from a four-year-old case against a Long Island, New York, franchisee, CNBC reports.
- Derek Benner, an ICE official, told CNBC that more raids are planned. "Today's actions send a strong message to U.S. businesses that hire and employ an illegal workforce: ICE will enforce the law, and if you are found to be breaking the law, you will be held accountable," Thomas D. Homan, ICE deputy director, said in a statement.
The 7-Eleven operation was large, but not unexpected; ICE announced in November that it would soon quadruple worksite visits.
To ensure compliance with federal law, HR must see that managers are ensuring that new hires are eligible to work in the U.S. Each employee must complete a Form I-9 and provide the documentation that form requires — but no more than what it requires.
Employers also should keep in mind that the feds have updated the I-9 several times in recent months, and likely will again soon. For now, ensure that the I-9 form your HR department is using has a footer date of "07/17/17." And, to ensure compliance in the future, consider whether a switch to the online version is feasible for your workforce.