Facing a potential immigration crackdown from the federal government, sanctuary state California has threatened to go after private employers who assist law enforcement.
At a news conference, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra threatened fines of up to $10,000 and other legal actions, reports the Sacramento Bee.
“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,” Becerra. “We will prosecute those who violate the law.”
The federal government and California appear to be on the verge of a standoff, as many suspect immigration officials are gearing up to raid businesses in Northern California who employ illegal workers and deport those workers, in accordance with federal law.
Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan told a Fox News this month that “California better hold on tight… If the politicians in California don’t want to protect their communities, then ICE will,” reports the Bee.
California’s Immigrant Worker Protection Act went into effect on January 1 and was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Reports the Bee, the new law:
▪ Requires employers to ask immigration agents for a warrant before granting access to a worksite.
▪ Prevents employers from voluntarily sharing confidential employee information without a subpoena.
▪ Requires employers to notify their workers before a federal audit of employee records.
▪ Gives the attorney general and labor commissioner exclusive authority to enforce new provisions of state labor laws.
▪ Prohibits employers from re-verifying information on employment verification forms, unless compelled to by federal law.
AG Becerra said all California employers would be issued guidelines instructing them about the new law and their obligations to protect illegals.
Feature image, Xavier Becerra via The San Diego Union-Tribune.