California clarifies to its industries and employers how it should act when ICE agents arrive

Attorney Xavier Becerra and the California Labor Commissioner today clarified the implementation of the law (AB-450), which involves financial penalties for employers who voluntarily allow ICE agents access to non-public areas of a workplace without a court order.

The prosecutor said Tuesday that their office has been meeting and communicating with industries across the state to resolve their questions about the measure, which went into effect on January 1.

“Many of the industries asked for information and have met with us to learn about this new law,” Becerra said. “We have had the cooperation of many groups and will give them the information they need.”

The attorney general’s office published an ” advisory ” and an extensive list of “questions and answers” on its website that explains how this measure will be applied and what are the rights and obligations of employers.

“We want them to do the right thing, but for that, they have to know clearly what is the right thing to do,” said Becerra.

Law AB 450 was sponsored by San Francisco Assemblyman David Chiu, who together with Becerra held a press conference on Tuesday to clarify the application of the law.

Chiu said that what motivated his bill was “the history of ICE and before the INS” and the current threats of the Trump government to intensify raids in workplaces that had not been so common in the years of the Obama administration .

“We know that ICE has broken into workplaces, entering private areas of companies and here, we do not believe that an employer should allow raids that are potentially unconstitutional ,” Chiu said.

According to the attorney’s advisory, employers in California:

They will be prohibited from voluntarily accepting the entry of an immigration agent into the private areas of a work place, unless they have an order signed by a judge.

They will be prohibited from allowing any immigration agent access to reviewing or viewing the employer’s files about their employees , unless they file a federal order.

You can, however, review the I-9 employment eligibility forms whenever you submit an “inspection notice.”

You will be prohibited from re-verifying the eligibility of a current worker.

In addition, employers are REQUIRED to advise their employees about the inspections that a federal immigration agency will carry out or make, placing written notices in the employee’s common language that explains: which agency will perform the inspection, the type of inspection which will be carried out and when the employer was notified.

It also requires that, after 72 hours of an inspection, the employer must give its workers a copy of the result of the inspection with details of what the employee should do.

Assemblyman Chiu said the state can not stop ICE from doing its job, but it can verify that they do it legally.

During the legislative process, business groups objected to the measure and Chiu agreed to make several changes to the language of the same. “The raids can be very damaging to companies and businesses in agriculture, construction and others,” said the assemblyman. “It is important that employers know their rights and responsibilities.”

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Benjamin Diaz

About the Author: Benjamin Diaz

Benjamin Diaz started working for Debate Report in 2017. Ben grew up in a small town in northern Ontario. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife a year later. Benhas been a proud Torontonian for the past 10 years. He covers politics and the economy. Previously he wrote for CTV News and the Huffington Post Canada.

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