Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, said the inspections offered "a good sign" that the administration was serious about going after employers.
"When these audits occur, the employees scatter in the wind and go down the street and work for somebody else", she said. There were 1,360 inspections in fiscal year 2017.
Homan has stated that in response to the Sanctuary State law that went into effect January 1, he plans to "significantly increase" the enforcement presence ICE has in California with more special agents and more deportations - a move he claims is privately supported by local police.
Homan is leading the agency while he awaits confirmation to his appointment as director. In a statement, the acting director of ICE, Thomas Homan, said the actions were meant to send a strong message to employers that if they hire an illegal workforce, his agency will hold them accountable. Under President George W Bush, agents would raid places that they suspected employed people illegally in the US.
According to The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the initiative swept 98 stores in 17 states, and resulting in 19 arrests.
The company said in an emailed statement that the ICE actions were taken at franchised stores, whose owners and not the company are responsible for making hiring decisions based on compliance with federal, state and local laws. ICE did not disclose which 7-Eleven stores in metro Detroit were targeted.
- Dozens of 7 Eleven stores across the country were the target of immigration agents Wednesday.
It added that it had "terminated" the agreements of franchises convicted of violating the laws.
Wednesday's audits arose from a 2013 investigation that resulted in charges against nine 7-Eleven franchisees and managers in NY and Virginia.
This comes at a time of a surge in immigration arrests.
ICE-led arrests within the country rose by 40 percent in the first 100 days of Trump taking to the office, per government released numbers.
The 7-Eleven sweeps reflect Trump's hardline stance on immigration, which led to a 43 percent uptick in arrests from 2016 to previous year.
One 7-Eleven employee in metro Detroit was arrested for immigration violations.
"We are aware of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) actions taken at certain franchise locations", the parent company said in a statement. "It's about removing that magnet".
If employers are found not to be in compliance, it can result in civil fines and potential criminal prosecution.
"This whole week has put an emphasis on how the Trump administration wants to continue exercising their xenophobic views", says Maru Mora Villalpando, an organizer with Northwest Detention Center Resistance.