Two Charlotte-area 7-Elevens targeted in raid by ICE agents

ICE targets 7-Eleven stores nationwide as agency ramps up worksite enforcement

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided 98 stores in the country, including two in Charlotte Wednesday morning, to check on employees' immigration status.

Two 7-Elevens, including one on Monroe Road, were raided in Charlotte.

<p>Millions of people have handed their DNA over to genetic testing companies like Ancestry or 23andMe to learn more&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fox25boston.com/news/police-can-request-your-dna-from-sites-like-ancestry-23andme/681534202?utm_content=news&amp;utm_campaign=Socialflow+Twitter&amp;utm_source=socialflow&amp;utm_medium=twitter" target="_blank">about their family history</a>. (<a href="http://www.wsoctv.com/news/water-cooler/police-can-request-your-dna-from-sites-like-ancestry-23andme/682162984" target="_blank">WSOCTV.com</a>)</p>

Millions of people have handed their DNA over to genetic testing companies like Ancestry or 23andMe to learn more about their family history. (WSOCTV.com)

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Agents said the investigation began four years ago with a case against a franchise on New York's Long Island.

The audits could lead to criminal charges or fines over the stores' hiring practices. Twenty-one people in the country, suspected of being in the United States illegally, were arrested.

None of those arrested were in Charlotte, said Benjamin Snyder, a local immigration attorney.

“This is ICE sending the message to employers you're on the hook, too, not just the workers, who enable or encourage unauthorized immigration,” Snyder said.

Snyder said the people arrested, who have previous removal orders, could be deported in a matter of days.

The 7-Eleven corporate office released this statement: "7-Eleven franchisees are independent business owners responsible for deciding who to hire and verifying their eligibility to work in the United States” and that they require “franchisees to verify work eligibility in the US ... for all of their prospective employees prior to hiring."

The company said it has terminated franchise agreements in the past for owners convicted of violating those laws.