Immigration Agents Visit Hellertown 7-Eleven As Part of Nationwide Enforcement Effort

Credit: K. Torres

A Hellertown police officer stands inside the 7-Eleven store at 1100 Main Street during a immigration enforcement sweep conducted by federal authorities Wednesday morning.

The Hellertown 7-Eleven was apparently one of nearly 100 stores across the country visited by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents early Wednesday.

The visit drew the attention of a number of passers-by, and customers were not allowed to enter the store while the action was in progress.

Hellertown police officer Dominick Fragano informs a would-be customer that the 7-Eleven store is temporarily closed Wednesday morning. (Credit: K. Torres)

According to the Associated Press, the agents “descended on dozens of 7-Eleven stores before dawn Wednesday to open employment audits and interview workers in what officials described as the largest operation against an employer under Donald Trump’s presidency.”

“Agents targeted about 100 stores nationwide, broadening an investigation that began with a 4-year-old case against a franchisee on New York’s Long Island,” the AP story said. “The audits could lead to criminal charges or fines over the stores’ hiring practices.”

“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. “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.”

Credit: K. Torres

A customer tries to enter the closed 7-Eleven store in Hellertown while ICE authorities were conducting an enforcement effort there Wednesday morning.

Eyewitnesses reported that Hellertown police officers were present at the 7-Eleven store at 1100 Main Street early Wednesday.

One employee was observed to be in handcuffs, an eyewitness said.

When asked about what had happened, Hellertown Police Chief Robert Shupp said, “it was something with paperwork between the 7-11 and the government.”

“It had nothing to do with us,” he said. “It’s my understanding that once it was sorted out they let them open again.”

The store was reportedly open again by around 9 a.m.

According to the AP story, in addition to Pennsylvania ICE agents visited 7-Eleven stores in Washington, D.C., California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

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About Josh Popichak
Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is a journalist and publisher who is passionate about providing an open online platform and advocating for independent, local news. He has covered news--first in print, later online--in the Saucon Valley area of eastern Pennsylvania since 2005. In addition to writing extensively about local issues, he uses Facebook, Instagram and other social media to help personalize and broaden awareness of topics affecting the communities he covers. He also manages the Facebook pages for several local businesses as part of his business, Saucon Source LLC. He is a 1999 graduate of Bates College, where he was a history major and arts editor for the student newspaper.

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