California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced at a Thursday press conference that he will prosecute employers who allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to raid their facilities, an offense that could carry a fine up to $100,000.
“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, according to the Sacramento Bee. “We will prosecute those who violate the law.”
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed The Immigrant Worker Protection Act last year that went into effect January 1.
The law prohibits employers from voluntarily providing ICE with confidential information about their employees and requires them to ask ICE for a warrant prior to any inspection. It also requires employers to post notice of any immigration inspection 72 hours before it takes place, and prohibits them from “reverifying the employment eligibility of a current employee” unless compelled by law.
The acting director of ICE, Thomas Homan, indicated the agency would increase its presence in California earlier this year, saying, if "politicians in California don’t want to protect their communities, then ICE will.”
“If [Gov. Brown] thinks he’s protecting the immigrant community, he’s doing quite the opposite, because if he thinks ICE is going away, we’re not,” Homan said. “…There’s no sanctuary from federal law enforcement. As a matter of fact, we’re in the process now, I’m going to significantly increase our enforcement presence in California. We’re already doing it.”