This week, after receiving the bill from the California Assembly, the Senate Industrial Relations and Labor Committee advanced AB 450, legislation that puts private employers in a no-win situation between federal immigration enforcement and state enforcement by punishing employers who voluntarily comply with federal authorities. As has been previously communicated, Western Growers is part of a large coalition opposed to the bill. The bill will be considered next in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Yesterday, Matthew Allen, Director of California Government Affairs in WGs’ Sacramento office, offered testimony opposing the bill before the Senate Labor Committee. View part of Matthew’s testimony before the Senate Labor Committee.
Disguised as a workers’ rights bill, AB 450 offers employees no meaningful protection from deportation or helpful information. Instead, the bill aims to severely penalize employers that voluntarily comply with federal enforcement authorities on I-9 audits and other immigration related inspections.
AB 450 prohibits an employer from cooperating with federal authorities and forbids an employer from granting access to a place of employment by an immigration enforcement agent without judicial warrant. The bill also requires employers to issue notifications to employees and to the labor commissioner regarding immigration enforcement activities. Employers would be subjected to fines of not less than $2,000 and up to $10,000 for each violation of the bill’s provisions.
Western Growers is committed to protecting the agriculture workforce. As such, we will continue to fight for a suitable and proper solution to labor issues through the passage of federal immigration reform legislation.
For more information, contact Matthew Allen at (916) 446-1435.