WASHINGTON - U.S. Immigration and Customs and other federal agents fanned out across the nation targeting 7-Eleven convenience store in a bid to sort out if the franchise stores had any unauthorized workers.

In Central Florida, federal agents raided four 7-Eleven stores in the Orlando area and another four in Fort Myers, part of an operation that included a total of 98 stores nationwide. None were reportedly in Brevard County.

A total of 21 people suspected of being unauthorized workers were arrested and ordered to appear in immigration court. The raids also come as President Trump promised to increase scrutiny of immigration policies and to especially increase deportations of undocumented residents staying in the U.S.

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“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,” said Thomas D. Homan, ICE Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director in a statement.

“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.”

The sweeping raids took place in 18 states- including Florida – and Washington, D.C.

Contact Gallop at 321-242-3642, jdgallop@floridatoday.com, or Twitter at @JDGallop

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