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California Employers Helping in Reported ICE Crackdown Told by AG They Will Be Prosecuted

California Employers Helping in Reported ICE Crackdown Told by AG They Will Be Prosecuted

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra  (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 19 January 2018 09:35 AM

California employers assisting Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a reported widespread immigration crackdown will be prosecuted, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said on Thursday.

His warning comes amid reports that U.S. immigration agents were planning mass sweeps targeting illegal immigrants within the Northern California communities. Under the state’s new Immigration Worker Protection Act, businesses and employers providing information about employees to immigration authorities could face fines of up to $10,000, The Sacramento Bee reported.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported federal immigration officials were preparing for a major sweep in San Francisco and other northern California cities to arrest more than 1,500 illegal immigrants, and that the ICE operation aims to send a message that immigration policy will be enforced in the sanctuary state.

The sweep, centered in the Bay Area, could happen within weeks, and is expected to become the biggest enforcement action of its kind under President Donald Trump, the Chronicle reported, citing an unnamed source.

Becerra emphasized that those in violation of the new state law, which seeks to protect unauthorized workers targeted by employment-related raids, would be prosecuted.

“It’s important, given these rumors that are out there, to let people know – more specifically today, employers – that if they voluntarily start giving up information about their employees or access to their employees in ways that contradict our new California laws, they subject themselves to actions by my office,” he said, per the Bee.

The Immigration Worker Protection Act prevents federal officials from searching worksites without a warrant, or from detaining workers of any immigration status at their workplaces, Fox News reported. Further, it requires employers to notify workers of impending federal audits of employee records.

The legislation has received mixed reactions from members of the public as well as government officials.

ICE’s acting director, Thomas Homan, told Fox News earlier this month that he was going to “significantly increase ICE’s enforcement presence in California,” noting that the state had forced his officers to arrest “dangerous criminals on their turf, in their homes, and their places of business.”

He warned that “California better hold on tight. They're about to see a lot more special agents, a lot more deportation officers in the state of California.”

David Garcias, president of Service Employees International Union Local 221, said in a column in the San Diego Union-Tribune that ICE agents have “routinely violated workers’ basic constitutional rights, conducting mass work-site sweeps based on racial profiling — rather than meeting the legally required test of suspicion that particular individuals have violated the law. U.S. citizens and green card holders have been detained for no reason but the color of their skin and place of work.”

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California employers assisting Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a reported widespread immigration crackdown will be prosecuted, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said on Thursday.
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2018-35-19
Friday, 19 January 2018 09:35 AM
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