Sacramento, CA – California State Attorney General Xavier Becerra warned employers not to help federal immigration authorities in ways that violate California’s new “sanctuary state” rules, or they will face legal repercussions.
“We will prosecute those who violate the law,” Becerra threatened on Thursday – although it seemed he was only speaking about one law in particular.
The California Values Act, which was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in October of 2017, “bars law enforcement officers from arresting individuals based on civil immigration warrants, asking about a person’s immigration status, or participating in any joint task force with federal officials for the purpose of enforcing immigration laws,” The Political Insider reported.
The law was officially implemented on Jan. 1.
“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 in ways that contradict our new California laws, they subject themselves to actions by my office,” Becerra said, according to The Sacramento Bee.
Becerra’s gesture of reassurance towards illegal immigrants was made among rising concerns of immigration crackdowns, especially in the wake of promises made by Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) acting director Thomas Homan on Jan. 2.
“If the politicians in California don’t want to protect their communities, then ICE will,” Homan said. “California better hold on tight.”
ICE has already begun the process of sending more manpower to the state.
“I’m going to significantly increase our enforcement presence in California,” Homan said. “They’re about to see a lot more special agents, a lot more deportation officers.”
“If [Gov. Brown] thinks he’s protecting the immigrant community, he’s doing quite the opposite, because if you think ICE is going away, we’re not. There’s no sanctuary from federal law enforcement,” Homan promised.
According to The Sacramento Bee, Becerra said that California’s Labor Commissioner’s Office and the state Department of Justice will issue formal guidance to employers of their responsibilities under the Immigrant Worker Protection Act, which aimed to prevent workers from being detained at their places of employment.
Businesses who fail to abide by California’s illegal immigrant coddling laws are subject to fines ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.
“I’ve got 20,000 American patriots that work for ICE,” Homan said. “They strap a gun to their hip every day and leave the safety and security of their homes to protect these communities and to protect the homeland.”
“We’re going to be all over the place, and we’re going to enforce law without apology,” he vowed.