Four plainclothes ICE agents came into a 7-11 store on January 10, three additional officers in ICE jackets guarding the door.
A cashier ran out the back door.
Billy Davenport, the night manager, was given documents to give to the owner of the store, Sandhu. The paperwork gave Sandhu 72 hours to provide documentation about every person who had been employed in the last three years.
The ICE officers began questioning the manager and the additional four employees in the store with questions such as, “Do you have identification? Where were you born?”
Sandhu, 48, was a franchise owner of three 7-11s and had been on his way to another one while the raid was taking place. Sandhu and his father were franchise owners together. When his father came to the United States fleeing the ethnic conflict in northern India, he worked at a 7-11.
Sandhu was taken aback when Davenport called to tell him the news. “They did what?”
Nine months later, he is still shaken. He said, “I totally understand if you are doing something illegal…I mean, if they know that I am doing something wrong. But why not just send me the subpoena and say we need to give them the information? Why all the drama? Why all the show?”
Sandhu’s 7-11 was not the only one raided that day. 98 7-11s in 17 different states were raided the very same day. Even more have been raided since.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, “7-Eleven…has become the highest-profile target of a sweeping corporate immigration crackdown by President Trump.”
7-ll had responded by following up with all the franchises that may be in legal violation. If the franchises are not following immigration law, 7-11 has the right to take the franchises’ stores back. Sandhu was sent a letter in July from 7-Eleven requesting any documents that alleged the violation of immigration laws. The letter warned that his store could be seized if he did not comply.
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