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California Affirms Immigrant Rights at Workplace

California has declared itself a sanctuary state. In support of that status, the state has passed the first law of its kind that will requires employers to help immigrant workers in the workplace. 

The Immigrant Worker Protection Act requires that California employers warn their immigrant employees when the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) knows they are lacking work authorization. Employees are entitled to notice of ICE’s inspection of Employment Eligibility Verification forms. This information will give the immigrants advance warning about possible ICE action. Employers must ask for a warrant before allowing ICE on the premises to interview the employee, and employers are not allowed to share confidential employee information without a subpoena granted to ICE. Penalties are also established in the event that an employer fails to comply with its obligations under the statute in amounts ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

Unhappy with California’s new law, ICE has indicated that it intends to target California and its worksites.