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CA Imposes New Employer Fines

As of Jan. 1, 2018, employers with operations in California can be fined for allowing federal immigration officials access to their facilities without first demanding to see a warrant or subpoena compelling such cooperation.

An employer who violates this requirement can receive a $2,000 to $5,000 civil penalty for the first violation, and $5,000 to $10,000 for each subsequent violation. The law also requires employers to provide workers with written reports following immigration enforcement actions.

“AB 450 essentially removes the ability of employers to ‘voluntarily consent’,” notes attorney Benjamin Ebbink of the law firm of Fisher Phillips, adding that California employers will have to train supervisors and front-line staff in how to respond.

The act was one of 11 bills signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown Oct. 5 seeking to make California a “Sanctuary State,” which has ignited a new war between the state and the Trump administration.

The new law that generated the most headlines is SB 54, which prohibits state law enforcement officers from apprehending anyone based on civil immigration warrants.

That law also prohibits police from asking about a person’s immigration status, keeping an undocumented inmate in jail on an immigration hold, or participating in any joint task force with federal officials for the purpose of enforcing immigration laws.

Thomas Homan, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, asserts that SB 54 “will negatively impact ICE operations in California by nearly eliminating all cooperation and communication with our law enforcement partners in the state.”

He adds, “ICE will have no choice but to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at work sites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests, instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community.”

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