With a new report circulating that the Trump administration is about to embark on a widespread sweep of California in search of illegal immigrants to arrest and deport, the state’s attorney general announced Thursday that California businesses would find themselves in a heap of legal trouble if they assisted the federal government in any way.
“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 that contradict our new California laws, they subject themselves to actions by my office,” said Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “We will prosecute those who violate the law.”
Becerra warned that said prosecution could result in legal consequences for employers in violation of California’s new “sanctuary state” law. Specifically, they could be found liable for up to $10,000 in fines if they lend a helping hand to Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities. Thanks to the new law, employers are held to a set of requirements that did not exist prior to January 1, when the legislation officially went into effect.
The law, according to the Sacramento Bee, puts the following series of burdens on businesses:
▪ Requires employers to ask immigration agents for a warrant before granting access to a worksite.
▪ Prevents employers from voluntarily sharing confidential employee information without a subpoena.
▪ Requires employers to notify their workers before a federal audit of employee records.
▪ Gives the attorney general and labor commissioner exclusive authority to enforce new provisions of state labor laws.
▪ Prohibits employers from re-verifying information on employment verification forms, unless compelled to by federal law.
This is where California is at right now as a state. To their legislators, it is more important that illegal immigrants – people who are not even American citizens – be protected from the long arm of the law than to make sure that employers – who ARE American citizens – be allowed to cooperate with federal authorities. They would rather punish citizens who are contributing to the California economy than to see the Trump administration actually enforce the law of the land. If this were a dystopian science fiction novel, we would have a hard time suspending our disbelief. But it’s not. This is happening, right here, right now, in these United States.
As fanciful as the idea of California seceding from the Union may sound, day by day it becomes even harder to imagine them staying. As far as we’re concerned, this sanctuary state law is a bigger step in that direction than even the Democrats of California realize.