By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra held a press conference on January 18, 2018, wherein he warned California employers that businesses will face fines of up to $10,000 if they assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in potential workplace raids or other similar actions. Becerra’s warning was in response to fears of mass workplace raids due to ICE’s statement that it plans to target Northern California communities for deportations due in part to the state’s “sanctuary” law. Specifically, ICE’s acting director Thomas Homan has told Fox News that “California better hold on tight... If the politicians in California don’t want to protect their communities, then ICE will.”

Attorney General Becerra stated, “It’s important, given these rumors that are out there, to let employers know 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 was referring to the new state law called the “Immigrant Worker Protection Act,” which went into effect on January 1, 2018.

As I previously discussed in my blog (see http://blogs.ilw.com/entry.php?10179...udits-and-More), California’s Immigrant Worker Protection Act requires the following:
  1. employers must notify their employees by written notice within 72 hours of Notice of Inspection (NOI) of I-9 records;
  2. employers must notify their employees, individually, of the results of the I-9 audit by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within 72 hours of receiving the results of the NOI;
  3. ICE agents are to provide a judicial warrant to employers to access non-public portions of worksites; and
  4. employers are prohibited from sharing confidential employee information, such as Social Security numbers, unless required to do so in a NOI or provided a judicial warrant.


The law does not restrict ICE from providing a NOI to an employer demanding the employees’ I-9 forms within three days of service of the NOI and the employer being required to honor it.

For a review of all employment and immigration-related state laws and other issues related to employer immigration compliance, I invite you to read my new book, The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, which is available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0997083379.