California AG: 'We will prosecute' employers who violate sanctuary laws

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra warned employers Thursday of legal repercussions if they assist federal immigration officials in an impending crackdown in the sanctuary state, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Under a new state law – the Immigration Worker Protection Act – employers and businesses could face fines of up to $10,000 if they provide employee information to U.S. Immigration Customs, Becerra said.

If employers “start giving up information about their employees or access to their employees in ways that contradict our new California laws, they subject themselves to actions by my office. We will prosecute those who violate the law,” he said at a news conference.  

The law prevents workers of any immigration status from being detained at workplaces. Among other stipulations, federal officials must obtain a warrant before searching a worksite and employers are required to notify their workers before a federal audit of employee records.

Becerra said the Department of Justice and the Labor Commission’s office – which hold exclusive authority over enforcement – will give “guidance” to public and private employers on their responsibilities under the new law.

The warning comes amid rumors of mass sweeps that will target illegal immigrants in Northern California. Under California’s sanctuary laws, local police are restricted from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

Upon hearing the rumors, local jurisdictions in Northern California said they hadn’t been notified by federal officials of any impending raids.

ICE’s acting director, Thomas Homan told Fox News earlier this month, “If the politicians in California don’t want to protect their communities, then ICE will.”