Release Date:  April 6, 2018
Contact:  Michael Rushford
(916) 446-0345

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The Sacramento-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation has filed argument in United States v. California on behalf of employers who are prohibited by AB450 from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. The case will be heard in U. S. District Court in Sacramento on June 20.

Specifically AB450, which was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Brown in 2017, prohibits employers from allowing federal immigration agents to come on their property or have access to employee records without a search warrant. Employers who violate this prohibition can be fined up to $5,000 for the first offense and up to $10,000 for each subsequent offense.

In a scholarly amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief, CJLF argues that, while federal law prohibits employers from knowingly hiring an illegal alien, California employers who suspect some employees to be illegally in the United States face punishment under AB450 for asking federal immigration authorities to help determine if those employees are illegals and may have provided fraudulent information in order to gain employment.

CJLF cites U. S. Supreme Court precedent (In re Quarles), noting “It is the duty and the right, . . . of every citizen, to assist in the prosecuting, and in securing the punishment of, any breach of the peace of the United States. . . . It is likewise his right and his duty to communicate to the executive officers any information which he has of the commission of an offence against those laws . . . .”

“The state of California has made it illegal for employers to exercise their right to aid in the enforcement of federal law,” said Foundation Legal Director Kent Scheidegger. “It is unconstitutional for any state to do this,” he added.

The Foundation’s brief in United States v. California is available here:

CJLF Legal Director Kent Scheidegger is available for comment at (916) 446-0345.