Senator Skinner Proactively Engages Law Enforcement and Business in Wake of Threatened ICE Sweeps

January 18, 2018

Oakland, California – State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) has announced today her office, in response to reports of increased immigration sweeps in the Bay Area, is proactively engaging law enforcement, local agencies and employers to underscore their responsibilities under new state law.

“My office is taking immediate and concrete steps to ensure that law enforcement, local agencies and employers know what they can and can’t do if ICE makes good on the threat to “conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites[1]” in our communities” said Senator Skinner. “New state laws make it clear that local agencies can not inappropriately assist federal immigration enforcement actions, and also makes clear that, in most cases, employers are under no obligation to allow ICE to enter their facilities without a warrant.”

Senate Bill 54 (SB 54) was signed by Governor Brown last year. It limits the extent to which state and local law enforcement may aid federal agencies engaging in enforcement operations against suspected undocumented immigrants. Under the law, police and sheriff’s departments may not detain, interrogate, or provide information about people with respect to immigration violations unless a person has committed certain serious crimes.

Assembly Bill 450 (AB 450) seeks to protect employees of businesses that are subject to immigration enforcement actions. AB 450 bars employers from granting workplace access to federal immigration agents in the absence of a judicial warrant, prohibits sharing of confidential employee data without a subpoena, and requires employers inform employees of certain immigration enforcement actions.

“I’m taking this proactive approach to ensure the safety of our communities is prioritized as we resist federal actions that tear apart hard working families” said Senator Skinner. “California passed SB 54 and AB 450 to help business and government agencies know what they can and can’t do in response to federal pressure. Now we must actively engage with law enforcement, as well as the facilities and businesses who may be affected by these sweeps, so that we can protect the safety of all Californians.”

Senator Nancy Skinner (@NancySkinnerCA) represents the 9th Senate District. She serves as Chair of the Senate Public Safety Committee and the Budget Subcommittee on Corrections, Public Safety and the Judiciary.

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[1] “Feds planning massive Northern California immigration sweep to strike against sanctuary laws,” San Francisco Chronicle, January, 17, 2018, https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Feds-planning-massive-Northern-California-12502689.php