U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is reportedly preparing for major immigration sweeps in California, aiming to target undocumented immigrants in San Francisco and other Northern California cities.

Media outlets, including the San Francisco Chronicle, have reported that federal agents are looking to detain as many as 1,500 undocumented immigrants, focusing in particular on immigrants who have been served with deportation orders or have a criminal record.

ICE has not commented on any plans for such an operation, though Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan has criticized California’s “sanctuary state” bill and said that ICE would take action against undocumented immigrants in sanctuary cities, including in California.

BAL Analysis: BAL is expecting increased worksite enforcement efforts in California in the coming weeks and months. News of a possible immigration sweep in the state follows a nationwide immigration crackdown at dozens of 7-Eleven stores and statements from Homan last fall that ICE would dramatically increase the number of worksite visits. Employers should be aware of the steps ICE is taking to ramp up inspections. Employers are encouraged to conduct internal audits to ensure that they are in compliance with Form I-9 requirements. BAL can assist in conducting a review and compliance audit of employers’ Form I-9 employment eligibility verification policies.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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