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  1. ICE Targeting California for More “Silent Raids”

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

    On the heels of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) worksite enforcement actions/inspections against 97 7-Eleven convenience stores, ICE announced it has conducted I-9 inspections of 77 employers in the San Francisco and Sacramento areas. ICE did not identify any of the businesses its agents visited in the Bay Area and the Sacramento region. However, just the fact that ICE served subpoenas on so many employers demanding their I-9 forms and then announced it to the media, demonstrates ICE is trying to put the fear of government action in the minds of every employer, especially in California.

    When ICE conducts an I-9 inspection, their agents show up at employer locations and serve a subpoena and Notice of Inspection (NOI) demanding the employer produce the I-9 forms of current employees, and often former employees, within three days of service. Often, these inspections are referred to as “silent raids” because they can have the same effect as a raid – loss of employees through ICE detention, terminations or quick abandonment of jobs.

    According to James Schwab, a spokesman for ICE, their operation is part of a strategy that is “focused on protecting jobs for U.S. citizens and others who are lawfully employed, eliminating unfair competitive advantages for companies that hire an illegal workforce, and strengthening public safety and national security.”

    It is interesting that ICE chose California for these actions as ICE and the Trump administration are involved in an assault on California due to their recent legislation declaring California as a sanctuary state. Thomas D. Homan, acting director of ICE, has criticized California for state and local efforts to protect undocumented immigrants and limit law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with immigration officials. Homan recently stated “We’ve got to take these sanctuary cities on. We’ve got to take them to court, and we’ve got to start charging some of these politicians with crimes.”

    California recently enacted legislation requiring employers notify their workers of such an ICE audit and provide them with the results. The law also mandates that employers ask ICE to obtain a judicial warrant in some situations though not for NOIs. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra recently held a press conference where he warned California employers of the consequences of violating this legislation. Thus, many California employers are perplexed as to how to be in abeyance of both federal and state immigration laws.

    Angelo Paparelli, a prominent immigration attorney with Seyfarth Shaw, stated “Serving 77 notices of inspection on different employers in the last three days within a single area of responsibility, in this case, San Francisco, appears unprecedented.”

    After the businesses comply with the subpoena/NOI, ICE auditors will carefully review the I-9 forms to determine whether undocumented workers are employed at the business and whether the I-9 forms have substantive errors, which could cost $224 to $2236 per I-9 form. If undocumented workers are employed, ICE may return to the employer and detain the undocumented workers. Alternatively, ICE may issue a Notice of Suspect Documents to the employer stating which employees do not have valid work authorization. If after the employer gives its employees an opportunity to provide valid documentation (“newer and better documentation”), the employees fail to provide such, the employer must discharge those employees or face fines of up to $4473 per employee.

    I will keep you apprised on further developments of these “silent raids” and the 7-Eleven ones. If you are concerned about your I-9 forms and the legal status of your employees, I urge you to retain an immigration attorney trained in worksite enforcement, who can spearhead an internal I-9 audit.

    If you want a full discussion of internal I-9 audits and other important immigration compliance issues, I recommend you read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book I co-authored with Greg Siskind, which is available at
  2. Trump's Attacks on "Treasonous" Dems, and Diversity Immigrants, Both of Whom "Don't Love Our Country", Point the Road to Fascism. Roger Algase

    During a February 5 speech in Ohio Trump launched a tirade against the Democrats and accused them of "treason" for not standing up and applauding during part of his State of the Union speech. The Hill quotes the president as saying:

    "Can we call that treason? Why not?...They certainly didn't seem to love our country very much."

    (Italics added.)

    Aside from the fact that there is a certain country where failing to applaud when the Leader speaks actually is considered treason (a country which America's president has threatened to destroy with "Fire and Fury"), what stands out from this remark is that the "treasonous" Democrats are not the only people whom Trump has accused of failing to "love our country".

    He has frequently implied that immigrants, especially those from non-white parts of the world, do not "love our country" either.

    Trump has, for example, said that he wants to end the diversity visa lottery, which benefits legal immigrants who are overwhelming non-European, with approximately 40 per cent coming form Africa, and switch to a "merit-based" system which will favor immigrants "who will love and respect our country."

    What does Trump mean when he assaults both the opposing Democratic party and non-white immigrants as people who do not "love our country"?

    For one thing, it revives the combination of racism and authoritarian rule which has been typical of all too many dictatorships in modern times.

    But beyond that, if Trump believes that members of the opposition party who fail to applaud during one of his speeches do "not love our country" and are guilty of "treason", what will be his attitude to Democrats and pro-immigration advocates who oppose his efforts to end the diversity visa (and family reunification green cards, by far the most important source of non-white legal immigration to the US during the past 50 years, which Trump has also attacked and wants to abolish for similar reasons)?

    Since, in Trump's view, the diversity visa (and family reunification visas) allow immigrants to come to America who "do not love our country", does this mean that people who support keeping America's legal immigration system in its present form, and who oppose Trump's immigration "Framework" and his support for the Senate RAISE Act and House Goodlate bill, all of which would drastically cut legal immigration levels from outside Europe (and even
    most likely, but to a much smaller extent, from within Europe too), are also "traitors" who do "not love our country"?

    This kind of thinking could only serve to intimidate and threaten immigration supporters and Congressional figures who want to keep America's legal system open to the entire world, as it has been ever since 1965, instead of making huge cuts in legal immigration from Asia, Africa and Latin America in order to favor immigrants from white "countries like Norway" as in Trump's January 11 comment and in the bigoted "Nordics" only 1924 immigration law which he and his supporters seem to be so anxious to go back toward.

    Implying that the Democrats and other supporters of legal immigration that is not limited to white immigrants from Europe only are "traitors" who do not "love our country" is not only a danger to democratic institutions. It directly points the road to fascism in America.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 02-06-2018 at 08:59 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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