February 15, 2017

Members Encouraged to Develop and Adhere to Media Protocols

As part of the media reaction to President Trump’s interior immigration enforcement executive order, many reporters are contacting Western Growers and our members to determine its potential impact on the agriculture industry.

Because of the uncertainties surrounding implementation of this policy, we encourage our members to develop internal protocols designating a single point of contact for all related media inquiries. Employees should be directed to decline requests from journalists to speak about this issue and politely refer reporters to the designated spokesperson for the company.

Furthermore, all staff should understand that any statements made to the media acknowledging that an individual or individuals in your organization lack proper employment authorization could constitute “constructive knowledge” – in particular, if such acknowledgement is printed in a news story – and may subject your company to a potential I-9 audit or an ICE raid.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) prohibits an employer from “knowingly” hiring or continuing to employ aliens who do not have employment authorization. The term “knowing” includes not only actual knowledge, but also knowledge that may fairly be inferred through notice of certain facts and circumstances that would lead a person, through the exercise of reasonable care, to know about a certain condition.

Western Growers is ready to assist you in the event you are contacted by a reporter on any immigration-related matter. If you would like to respond to the media request, we can help you develop your messaging. Or, if you would rather, you can simply redirect any media inquiries to Cory Lunde in the Western Growers Communications Department at (949) 885-2264.

If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact Jason Resnick at (949) 885-2253 or Cory Lunde at (949) 885-2264.