7-Eleven stores were raided in multiple states as part of an illegal immigration smuggling investigation. A total of nine 7-Eleven owners and managers from Virginia to Long Island were raided on June 17. The convenience store workers from the Philippines and Pakistan were allegedly being paid using the Social Security numbers of children and dead Americans.
The open borders mindset of the Obama administration leaves America vulnerable not only to entitlement program abuse and increased crime, but endangers national security as well. Brooklyn Immigration and Customs enforcement agents are also reportedly investigating 40 more 7-Eleven stores which have possibly been harboring illegal aliens.
Federal prosecutors are seeking $30 million in forfeiture from the individual 7-Eleven stores and the parent company. The federal government has also seized the franchise right to four 7-Eleven stores in Virginia and ten 7-Eleven stores in New York. The investigation has reportedly led to the largest illegal immigration forfeiture in United States history. 7-Eleven is owned by Seven & I Holdings of Japan.
Defendants from about 14 different 7-Eleven raids were arraigned on various charges. The indictment names one woman and eight men who area accused of employing illegal immigrants and stealing identities (Social Security numbers) of approximately two dozen people. According to court documents in the illegal immigration case, the criminal activity has allegedly been going on for at least a decade.
A statement released from US Attorney Loretta Lynch about the illegal immigration arrests reads:
“In bedroom communities across Long Island and Virginia, the defendants not only systematically employed illegal immigrants, but concealed their crimes by raiding the cradle and the grave to steal the identities of children and even the dead. From their 7-Eleven stores, the defendants dispensed wire fraud and identity theft, along with Slurpees and hot dogs.”
Although the prosecutor’s statement initially sounded like the Obama administration may finally be taking the illegal immigration problem seriously, it quickly erodes into a political correctness rant.
In the second half of the statement, Lynch claims that the illegal immigrants were “ruthlessly exploited” by the 7-Eleven store owners and managers. The staffers allegedly stole wages from the workers and required them to live in “unregulated boarding houses” that amounted to a “modern day plantation system.” There is no doubt that the 7-Eleven owners and managers are criminals, but so are the workers from Pakistan and the Philippines. Even though President Obama and his liberal fans want to believe otherwise, entering America illegally is still a crime.
A total of eighteen 7-Eleven workers, also possibly illegal immigrants, were detained by ICE agents after they notified the agency about the supposed fraud. If convicted on the wire fraud, identity theft, and harboring charges, the 7-Eleven store owners and managers face up to a 20-year prison sentence. Whether or not the illegal immigrants themselves will also end up wearing prison blues or be deported is an issue federal prosecutors do not seem eager to discuss. 7-Eleven corporate officials are reportedly cooperating with investigators. The investigation began as a part of a human smuggling sweep.
Homeland Security Special-Agent-in-Charge James T. Hayes, Jr. had this to say about the 7-Eleven raids:
“This charged criminal scheme had a vast detrimental effect on both the employees who were overworked and cheated out of wages, as well as the more than 25 American citizens whose lives were upended by the theft of their identities in furtherance of the scheme.”
The 7-Eleven owners could not have overworked and stolen wages from the employees if they had not come to America illegally in the first place. I would not feel sorry for a thief who fell and broke his leg during a home invasion, so looking at the workers as true victims is just too much of a stretch. I do not wish any type of abuse or criminal acts upon the illegal immigrants; I just want them to enter the country illegally after a background check has been performed. The erosion of national security due to unsecure borders should not be a partisan issue. It is in everyone’s best interest to thwart the flow of unknown individuals into America.
A viral video about Marita Nelson highlights just how costly illegal immigration is for United States taxpayers. Nelson, a mother of seven, received $700 in Social Security benefits each month and $240 in food stamps. The illegal immigrant who arrived in America after swimming the Rio Grande also receives housing assistance and medical coverage. The single mother has been on taxpayer funded assistance for 20 years. Privately funded recruiters are using illegal immigrants like Marita Nelson to further their plans to enroll as many people as possible into taxpayer funded entitlement programs.
According to statistics from a Heritage Foundation study, the cost of the proposed illegal immigration and amnesty bill would be $6.3 trillion. Even those who criticize the figures offered by the conservative watchdog group have admitted that the developing bill would have some type of a trillion dollar price tag. The study is based upon a Department of Homeland Security estimate that there are currently 11.5 million illegal immigrants in the United States.
The amnesty bill passed by Congress in the 1980s promised that no other amnesty legislation would ever be penned. If Congress has acted responsibly and the Department of Justice had actually enforced federal law, our borders would not be unsecure and the country would not still be debating the illegal immigration issue.
The 7-Eleven raids occurred the same day controversy over the deaths of two police officers went viral. The dedicated local heroes were killed by illegal immigrants who were not only drunk at the time of the deadly crashes, but had prior DUI arrests as well. ICE attorney Kris Kobach stated that “thousands of Americans” have been killed both accidentally and unintentionally by illegal aliens with arrest records who could have already been deported.
Andres Munos, 23, had been arrested for a DUI and the unlawful possession of a firearm before he hit and killed Houston Police Sgt. Dwayne Polk. Jesus Cabrera-Molina told detectives he was high on cocaine and drunk the night Phoenix Police Officer Daryl Raetz was killed, but denies he was driving his SUV at the time. Under the House illegal immigration bill, these men would likely get deported immediately. Under the Senate version of the bill, the individual in the country illegally would have the right to a public defender and a hearing before deportation could be considered. The bill also states that illegal immigrants with less than four misdemeanors and some felonies could be allowed to remain in America if they have a wife or child in America.
The 7-Eleven owners and managers deserve to be charged with felonies if proven guilty of the crimes levied against them, but so do the illegal immigrants who answered help wanted ads at the convenience stores.