ICE Is Combing Through Southern California Businesses Looking for Undocumented Immigrants

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have hand-delivered audit notices to some 120 businesses in Southern California, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, requiring them to “show the government detailed records of who works there and evidence they are authorized to work.”

The news came just two days after news broke of an immigration detention operation that began last Wednesday—also in Southern California—and resulted in the arrest of over 200 immigrants. (Though the agency said it initially targeted 400.) Seventy-seven other businesses across the region were audited earlier this year, along with 100 7-Eleven convenience stores nationally.

From the Journal:

ICE officials said notices were served at businesses in varying industries and that no specific industry was targeted.

By law, the businesses have three days to compile their records but ICE said many businesses issued audit notices this week were given as much as a week to comply with the document requests.

ICE declined to provide the names of any businesses targeted this week. The Los Angeles Times, which first reported the audits, said at least two trucking businesses were given inspection notices.


Naturally, ICE’s deputy director, Thomas Homan, blamed the agency’s action on “sanctuary jurisdictions” like Los Angeles, arguing that if they were more willing to give up constituents’ personal information, ICE wouldn’t need to arrest so many people.

“Because sanctuary jurisdictions like Los Angeles prevent ICE from arresting criminal aliens in the secure confines of a jail,” Homan said, “our officers are forced to conduct at-large arrests in the community, putting officers, the general public and the aliens at greater risk and increasing the incidents of collateral arrests.”