California Labor Commissioner Julie Su has ordered state employees to prevent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from entering the department’s offices without a warrant.
According to the Sacramento Bee, Su issued the directive last month, ostensibly to protect illegal aliens reporting employee abuse at the hands of employers.
One Democrat Assemblyman from San Francisco is pushing it one step, further the Bee reports, proposing a law to limit ICE accesses to workplaces:
“The atmosphere of fear created by Trump and ICE’s expanded dragnet hurt all California workers,” said Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, who sponsored the bill that would restrict immigration enforcement at workplaces. “We have to do everything we can to fight back, and it’s great to see our labor commissioner taking a stand against the small minority of unscrupulous employers who are illegally retaliating against their employees.”
ICE has denied claims that its agents have attended Labor Commission hearings, however. Spokeswoman Virginia Kice told the UK Independent that it had found no evidence to corroborate the rumors and reports on which Su’s directive is based.
The Labor Commission is not alone in raising the alarm about increased enforcement efforts under President Donald Trump. California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakso —has pushed school districts to declare themselves “sanctuaries,” and California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has demanded the federal government stop “stalking” illegal aliens in and around California’s courts.
State Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), who has steadfastly opposed the sanctuary policies pushed by his Democrat colleagues, criticized Su’s decision. “I think it’s a black mark on California to have agencies of the state advocating the violation of federal law,” he told the Bee.
Despite ICE’s denials, Carl Soto, an organizer for illegal aliens’ rights at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, told the Independent that the rumors of ICE enforcement were discouraging workers from filing claims of abuse against employers.