California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said on Thursday that the sanctuary state will prosecute any private business that helps federal immigration authorities as they seek to enforce immigration laws that have existed for years.
Becerra’s threat comes as fears continue to mount among Democratic leaders in California that federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are planning massive raids throughout the state, The Sacramento Bee reported.
Speaking at a press conference, Becerra said, "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."
At the beginning of the year, California became an official "sanctuary state" which prohibits cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
"We will prosecute those who violate the law," threatened Becerra.
As the Sacramento Bee details, the new law:
- 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.