U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided 77 business across Northern California this week, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
ICE did not identify the businesses hit in the Bay Area and Sacramento region or make any immediate arrests, but issued three days for employers to provide proof of their employees' legal authorization to work in the U.S.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
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.
The sweep comes in the wake of nationwide ICE raids of nearly 100 7-Eleven stores that resulted in dozens of arrests less than a month ago.
Thomas D. Homan, ICE acting director, has repeatedly criticized California for the state's sanctuary laws.
"I think it’s terrible – you got the state of California that wants to put politics ahead of public safety, ahead of officer safety. What they have done is forced my officers to arrest dangerous criminals on their turf, in their homes and places of business, rather than arresting them in the safety and security of a county jail. It’s ridiculous to annoyingly and intentionally put law enforcement at risk," Homan said in an interview with Fox News in January.
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