With all of the buzz about potential impending raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), many employers are understandably concerned about the rights of their employees, as well as their own rights and obligations with respect to ICE activity.
Employers must be careful to not provide assistance to employees beyond providing factual information about the employee’s rights, such as the right to remain silent, the right to refuse to sign any documentation, and the right to speak with an attorney. You cannot instruct employees to answer questions in a particular way or forbid them from answering questions, and you cannot hide employees or assist them in leaving the premises.
If ICE agents arrive at your workplace, you should take the following steps:
- Contact your attorney
- Confirm that there is a warrant and review it to ensure it has been signed by a judge and to determine its scope
- Accompany ICE officials at all times and document everything
- Refuse to discuss policies, practices, or particular employees with ICE officials
- Do not hide employees, assist with their escape, or mislead ICE officials
The American Immigration Lawyers Association and American Immigration Council’s ICE Worksite Raid: Employer Rights and Responsibilities is a great reference, and can be helpful in providing information to those in management or supervisory roles who may encounter ICE officials. The National Employment Law Project and National Immigration Law Center have a similar reference tool here.
If you would like to circulate materials to your employees informing them of their rights, the American Civil Liberties Union has materials available in English and Spanish.
For further discussion of this issue, see our previous blog post on this issue here. If you have further questions or anticipate that your business may be targeted in an ICE raid, please contact one of our labor and employment attorneys.