On the morning of January 10th, 2018, federal immigration agents raided 7-Eleven store locations in nearly two dozen states across the country. According to reporting from the Los Angeles Times, several 7-Eleven stores in Southern California were among those that were subject to the immigration raids.
Questions are now being raised over whether or not California law was properly followed by employers. California State Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) informed reporters that he will be asking the California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the California Labor Commissioner’s office to investigate this situation to ensure that there was full compliance with the requirements of California law.
California Employers Must Request a Judicial Warrant From Immigration Officers
On October 5th of 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill No. 450 (AB-450) into law. This legislation put restrictions on employer cooperation with immigration enforcement agents at California worksites. The law became effective as of January 1st, 2018. Among several other things, AB-450 bars California employers from voluntarily giving federal immigration agents access to their premises. Specific provisions include:
- A requirement that employers seek a judicial warrant from ICE agents;
- A mandate that employers give notice to workers if certain type of immigration enforcement action is set to occur; and
- The creation of penalties for any violation of these rules.
The goal of this law is to provide enhanced protections to immigrants in California. This has become an especially important issue as additional threats to immigrant rights have come from the Trump Administration.
Warrants Were Not Served at the Southern California 7-Eleven Stores
According to the information in the reporting from the Los Angeles Times, ICE did not obtain judicial warrants before conducting raids at the 7-Eleven stores. Instead, a spokesperson for ICE stated that officers served these stores with I-9 inspection notices. This has raised serious questions about whether or not California law was followed by the employers.
Workplace Raids May Be Increasing
Workplace raids have long been a tactic used by immigration enforcement agencies. While this type of aggressive action was used less frequently during the Obama Administration, the recent 7-Eleven raid indicate that workplace immigration enforcement raids may be making a return. On January 15th, 2018, The New York Times published a well-sourced story suggesting that the Trump Administration plans to increase the use of job-site raids in the coming months. This is an issue that must be watched closely. It is imperative that California employers follow state law and the immigrant communities are fairly protected.
Contact Our Immigration Lawyers Today
At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we represent people in immigration court who are facing deportation or removal from the United States. We represent people on the East Coast and the West Coast and everywhere between. Our legal practice is dedicated to protecting the legal rights of immigrants and their families. For immediate assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.