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As an Employer, How Do I Prepare for a potential ICE Encounter?

Many have probably seen that less than a month ago, more than 100 7-Eleven stores were raided by ICE (also known as US Immigration and Customs Enforcement). ICE went into these stores and demanded employment verification from entry level to managerial employees. Now, federal immigration officials have doneanother sweep this week in Northern California. They raided over 77 business in the San Francisco and Sacramento areas. It is believed to be the largest localized raid since President Trump took office.

Many employers have become stressed with the possibility of a potential ICE raid, even if they are following the laws. To best prepare, employers should preemptively conduct an internal audit and see if you can address any potential violations.

Prepare copies of the I-9s of your employees. This will help identify, to the best extent possible, which employees are authorized to work in the United States. The purpose of ICE raids is to ensure all workers are authorized to work in the U.S. lawfully. Thus, to protect your business your employees, it is best to have all your employee’s work authorization on hand and all proper documentation of I-9 compliance.

ICE raids are emotional and terrifying. It is important for your business to be prepared and calm. Remember, carefully review any warrants that the federal government furnishes. Make sure that they stay within the scope of the search warrant. Lastly, assure that the timing of the warrant is lawful. If possible, try to have your attorney present during ICE’s visit. Otherwise, contact your attorney immediately, especially if any employees are detained and documents were collected by ICE. Keep careful note of what items were taken by ICE and what exactly occurred at your place of business.

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Immigration law can be complicated and this article does not exhaust all the issues that could arise during an ICE raid. These issues can be extremely complex, and a single misstep could potentially lead to a deportation or other immigration penalties. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Call our law firm to consult with an immigration attorney today at: (949) 478-4936.