California State Governor recently signed an immigration bill that went into effect January 1, 2018, requiring employers to demand warrants from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) before any enforcement activities could take place. It also prevents employers from voluntarily giving consent for immigration agents to access, review, or obtain employee records without a subpoena or court order.
The state is threatening that any company that disregards this law could face fines of up to $10,000. Employers are upset with the bill citing that it puts them in a tight spot by forcing them into the front lines of this debate. Immigration attorney Jim O’Brien told National Restaurant News, “California employers especially are caught between two opposing philosophies, one the federal administration and its well-reported crackdown on immigration, and the other California, which takes a kinder, gentler view,” Federal officials have warned that more workplace raids are coming. ICE recently raided 98 7-eleven stores arresting 21 employees on suspicion of being in the country illegally. O’Brien is suggesting that employers in California get trained on the difference between judicial and administrative warrants and general nonpublic area laws to avoid fines.