Lehigh Valley

ICE immigration officials serve notice to Hellertown 7-Eleven

HELLERTOWN, Pa. - The Hellertown 7-Eleven was one of 98 of the store franchises inspected by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Wednesday.

Special agents served four I-9 audit notices in Pennsylvania, including in Hellertown, and conducted interviews with the stores' employees and managers to ensure the business was operating with employees who have proper work authorization.

"Businesses that hire illegal workers are a pull factor for illegal immigration and we are working hard to remove this magnet. ICE will continue its efforts to protect jobs for American workers by eliminating unfair competitive advantages for companies that exploit illegal immigration," said ICE Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director, Thomas D. Homan.

Wednesday's I-9 audit notices were a followup to ICE's previous 2013 investigation into 7-Eleven stores. In that year, agents discovered nine franchise owners and managers conspiring to commit wire fraud, stealing identities and concealing and harboring illegal aliens employed by their stores. The agents arrested these individuals and all but one pleaded guilty.

Notices were also served Wednesday in 17 additional states.

As of Wednesday's investigation, 21 individuals suspected of being in the U.S. illegally were arrested and given notices to appear in immigration court, ICE officials said. The investigation is ongoing. 

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