In the aftermath of the passage of legislation aimed at limiting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in California, the state has released rules employers must follow or risk fines of up to $10,000 per offense.
The Immigrant Worker Protection Act prohibits employers from voluntarily granting ICE agents access to private areas of worksites or to employee records. If ICE agents have a judicial warrant or subpoena for the records, however, the state law allows employers to grant them access, according to guidelines released by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
Under the new state law, employers must also notify employees of record inspections that federal immigration agents are conducting within 72 hours of receiving a notice of inspection. Likewise, employers are prohibited from reverifying workers’ employment eligibility at a time or in a manner that is not required by federal immigration law.
Employers can be fined up to $10,000 for not complying with eligibility reverification provision. Violations of other provisions of the law can result in fines of $2,000 to $5,000 for the first offense and $5,000 to $10,000 for subsequent offenses.
“The advisory and guidance released today are important tools to help workers and employers feel more secure, by educating them about their rights and responsibilities under the law,” Becerra said in a statement. “Everyone has an obligation to follow the law, whether it’s the Constitution, federal or state law. AB 450 works in concert, not in conflict, with our Constitution and federal laws.”
Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco), the author of the legislation, also released a statement on the new rules.
“No one should have to go to work every day scared of the threat of deportation,” Chiu said. “AB 450 was meant to not only give protections to California workers but also to ensure employers know what to do if immigration officials visit their workplaces.”