- The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is suing the state of California, alleging that it has intentionally obstructed the enforcement of federal immigration law by enacting several state laws.
- One law with which DOJ is taking issue prohibits employers from providing "voluntary consent" to a federal immigration enforcement agent's request to enter nonpublic work areas. Instead, businesses must ask for a warrant if federal agents try to enter nonpublic spaces and a subpoena if they want confidential employee information.
- “The Department of Justice and the Trump Administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair, and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions told law enforcement officers at a recent event.
By suing California, DOJ is making good on the Trump administration's promise to take a tough stance on immigration. Employers have been told to prepare for an increase in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement visits, which the agency promised would quadruple this year. Recommended preparations have included Form I-9 audits and training for front-facing employees who would be the first to encounter ICE.
And when California adopted its new requirements, many employers in the state felt they were being put in a difficult position. Businesses will certainly be hoping for some clarity soon, but while the state and federal governments try to sort out the issue in court, employers will have to do their best to train workers on all applicable laws. Those who face the public or manage worksites should be priorities, attorneys say, and they need to know exactly what you want them to say — or not say.