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Thread: ICE targets 77 Northern California businesses in illegal worker crackdown

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    ICE targets 77 Northern California businesses in illegal worker crackdown

    ICE targets 77 Northern California businesses in illegal worker crackdown

    By JASON GREEN | jason.green@bayareanewsgroup.com and TATIANA SANCHEZ | tsanchez@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group
    PUBLISHED: February 1, 2018 at 6:41 pm | UPDATED: February 1, 2018 at 8:16 pm


    SAN FRANCISCO — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents this week served notices of inspection at 77 Northern California businesses in an effort to root out illegal workers.

    The so-called I-9 audit notices were delivered to businesses in San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, said ICE spokesman James Schwab.


    Mariela Garcia, community organizer at Sacred Heart Community Services in San Jose, said Santa Clara County’s Rapid Response Network received calls this week about workplace audits. The network was able to confirm that two businesses were audited.

    “It’s put people in a lot of panic,” Garcia said. “We have people who are quitting their jobs.”


    A notice of inspection alerts a business owner that Homeland Security Investigations, a division of ICE, is going to audit their hiring records to determine if they are in compliance with the law, Schwab said. Employers are required to produce their company’s I-9s within three days, after which an inspection is conducted.


    The audits could lead to criminal charges or fines, and are in keeping with ICE Deputy Director Tom Homan’s previous statement that he has directed HSI to step up worksite enforcement.


    “The actions taken this week reflect HSI’s stepped-up efforts to enforce the laws that prohibit businesses from hiring illegal workers,” Schwab said.


    “HSI’s worksite enforcement strategy is focused on protecting jobs for U.S. citizens and others who are lawfully employed,” he continued, “eliminating unfair competitive advantages for companies that hire an illegal workforce, and strengthening public safety and national security.”

    Last month, agents served notices of inspection at 7-Eleven stores across the country, including locations in Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, Napa, Sebastopol, Suisun City and Petaluma.


    A renewed national debate over immigration has seen questions resurface about the effectiveness of E-Verify, a 21-year-old electronic program designed to filter out undocumented immigrants who apply for jobs.

    Some immigration experts have likened it to a political fig leaf, with so many significant flaws and loopholes that it allows employers to continue to knowingly hire undocumented workers with few repercussions.


    However, a “large portion” of employers don’t use E-Verify for new hires because they know government audits of traditional paper forms are so few and far between, said Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst at Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, in an interview with this news organization earlier last month.


    Daniel Costa, director of immigration law and policy research for the Economic Policy Institute, a pro-labor think tank based in Washington, D.C., agreed with that assessment. He noted earlier this month that even though audits of the I-9 forms soared during the Obama administration, an average of only 2,000 workplaces, including some enrolled in E-Verify, were audited annually during the eight years Barack Obama was president.


    According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which oversees the E-Verify program, an estimated 763,500 employers were taking part in the program as of Jan. 16.


    When asked what the Rapid Response Network is telling immigrants who are terrified to go to work, Garcia said, “it would be easier to advise them if the threat weren’t so real.”

    “For people whose workplaces have been served with audits, we have to be real with them about the risk of staying in that job and having ICE come back,” the community organizer added. “We cannot with confidence say, ‘It’s safe for you to go back.’ And that’s hard.”

    https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/02/...legal-workers/

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Captainron's Avatar
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    So...more Californians on the way up here.....
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    Immigration agents raid 77 Northern California workplaces; no arrests reported

    By Hamed Aleaziz
    Updated 8:48 pm, Thursday, February 1, 2018




    Photo: Charles Reed, Associated Press


    Federal immigration agents raided 77 businesses in Northern California this week, demanding proof that their employees are legally allowed to work in the United States, officials said Thursday.

    It was believed to be the largest such localized sweep of workplaces by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency since President Trump took office. ICE agents swept into nearly 100 7-Eleven stores nationwide and arrested 21 suspected undocumented immigrants.


    Thomas Homan, the agency’s acting director, has called for a “400 percent increase” in such workplace operations.


    ICE did not identify any of the businesses its agents visited in the Bay Area and the Sacramento region Monday through Wednesday. The businesses were served notices of inspection and given three working days to comply, and no immediate arrests were made.

    Experts were struck by the scale of the operation.

    “Serving 77 notices of inspection on different employers in the last three days within a single area of responsibility, in this case, San Francisco, appears unprecedented,” said Angelo Paparelli, an immigration attorney in Los Angeles with the firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP.


    James Schwab, a spokesman for ICE, said the raids the reflected “stepped-up” efforts to enforce laws prohibiting businesses from hiring undocumented workers.


    The operation is part of a strategy, he said, “focused on protecting jobs for U.S. citizens and others who are lawfully employed, eliminating unfair competitive advantages for companies that hire an illegal workforce, and strengthening public safety and national security.”


    President Donald Trump says he wants immigrants to come to the U.S. from "everywhere," despite having said behind closed doors that he'd prefer more immigrants from countries like Norway and not Africa. (Jan. 16)
    Media: Associated Press


    Homan has repeatedly criticized California for state and local efforts to protect undocumented immigrants and limit law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with immigration officials. In December, he told Fox News, “We’ve got to take these sanctuary cities on. We’ve got to take them to court, and we’ve got to start charging some of these politicians with crimes.”

    ICE has formulated plans for a broader operation in Northern California, intended to arrest large numbers of people considered deportable, but those have been placed on hold because of the sensitivity of congressional negotiations over immigration changes, said a source familiar with the matter.

    Pratheepan Gulasekaram, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, said this week’s raids appeared to be a “retributive move by ICE to punish California and the Bay Area for their decision to not cooperate with other federal enforcement efforts.”


    ICE inspections can lead to fines for businesses and criminal arrests of employers, in addition to immigration arrests of undocumented workers.

    During the last fiscal year, ICE served 1,360 such audits, making 139 criminal arrests and 172 immigration arrests. Businesses were ordered to pay nearly $100 million in forfeiture, fines and restitution.


    In raids such as the ones this week, ICE agents demand that employers produce what are known as I-9 forms for their employees, which show that workers produced valid identification such as a Social Security card to prove they are in the U.S. legally. Sometimes agents also ask for employees’ proof of identity and work authorization.


    Employees whose documentation fails to prove they have a legal right to work must be fired, and the businesses must verify to ICE that they have discharged the workers, Paparelli said.


    The investigations from this week’s ICE raids “remain ongoing,” agency spokesman Schwab said. “Any potential criminal charges or other penalties will be coordinated with the U.S. Department of Justice.”


    State legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown this year requires that employers notify their workers of such an audit and provide them with the results. The law also mandates that employers ask ICE to obtain a judicial warrant before granting agents access to a work site.

    https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/artic...a-12544863.php

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    NO AMNESTY

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    Beezer and Judy like this.
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