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California Attorney General Vows to Prosecute Employers Who Violate Sanctuary Laws
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Xavier Becerra. Photo courtesy of SFGate.com.

Summary: In response to reports that ICE will raid cities in Northern California, the state’s attorney general said it will prosecute employers who work with the federal agency. 

California employers who report people to U.S. Immigration Customs may face a $10,000 fine. On Thursday, the state’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra gave the warning, according to The Sacramento Bee.

  
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On January 1, California became the first state in the country to become a “sanctuary state,” which refers to a jurisdiction that protects undocumented immigrants from deportation. Sanctuary cities had already existed, and many such as San Francisco were located in California already.

Becerra said that California has a new state law called the Immigration Worker Protection Act. Under this law, employers can face up to $10,000 in fines if they provide employee information to U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE), which has revved up its hunt of immigrants since President Donald Trump has taken office.

Becerra said that if employers gave up their employees to ICE or gave access to them in a way that violates sanctuary laws then the Attorney General’s office will prosecute those employers. Employers are forbidden to work with federal officials on immigration raids, and according to Fox News, Becerra’s announcement came after rumors that cities in Northern California were going to be targeted by ICE.

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The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Wednesday that the feds were planning a massive immigration sweep in Northern California. They were seeking to arrest more than 1,500 undocumented people, and the raids are expected in the next few weeks.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein said that the government should not target people “solely because they are Californians.” Before Becerra announced the Immigration Worker Protection Act on Thursday, he said on Wednesday that the state wants to protect the public.



“We will, as always, work with our federal partners in every respect to go after drug dealers, human traffickers, potential terrorists,” Becerra said to CBS News. “We’re not in the business of deportation. We’re in the business of public safety.”

President Trump has been vocal about his desire to remove undocumented immigrants, and he has blamed Mexico for “not sending their best.” Under his presidency, there have been strict measures to combat immigration, which include an increased number of raids and travel bans from Muslim-majority countries.

Critics of Trump’s anti-immigration positions portray him as a racist, but the White House has repeated that these measures are for national security.

Earlier this month, ICE’s acting director Thomas Homan told Fox News that, “If the politicians in California don’t want to protect their communities, then ICE will.”

What do you think of Xavier Becerra’s announcement? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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