IMMIGRANT AND WORKER GROUPS LAUNCH DRIVE TO EDUCATE EMPLOYERS ON HOW TO PROTECT BUSINESSES AND EMPLOYEES FROM ICE
New Guide and Trainings Offer Best Practices for Employers in Event of Enforcement Actions
Coalition partners for employer-training workshops (L,R): Florence Yin, Asian Youth Center; Stewart Kwoh, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA; Nayantara Mehta, National Employment Law Project; Panida Rzonca, Thai Community Development Center; Shirley Shin, Korean American Chamber of Commerce of LA (KACCLA); Alexandra Suh, Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance; Shiu-Ming Cheer, National Immigration Law Center; James Cho, KACCLA.
LOS ANGELES – Immigrant community groups in Los Angeles, in partnership with national worker and immigrant rights organizations, launched a public education campaign today to educate employers on how to protect their businesses and employees in case of an immigration raid or enforcement action in the workplace.
The effort includes a comprehensive guide for employers, published by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), as well as a series of trainings for employers and workers to be hosted by community groups in Los Angeles and other cities around the country.
“Immigration enforcement is clearly a priority for the Trump administration. While employers and immigrant workers need to resist giving into paralyzing and unreasonable fear, it makes sense to be prepared and to have a plan and know what to do if ICE shows up at their place of work. This guide offers a starting point for doing that,” said Nayantara Mehta, senior staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project.
The guide, “What to Do If Immigration Comes to Your Workplace”, is available at www.planforICE.com
in five languages—Chinese, Korean, Thai, Spanish and English. It explains best practices for employers concerned about possible enforcement actions by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), describes the most common types of ICE workplace actions, outlines steps that employers can take to prepare for ICE actions, and explains employers’ rights and responsibilities in those situations and what they can do after being targeted by ICE.
“We’ve seen an increase in immigration enforcement which is causing panic in immigrant communities around the country. The more that we can prepare and defend against these types of actions, the better off our workplaces and communities will be,” said Shiu-Ming Cheer, senior staff attorney and field coordinator at the National Immigration Law Center. “This guide is a unique way to bring together employers and immigrant rights’ advocates. It is a proactive step by workers’ rights and immigrants’ rights groups to prepare for raids by engaging with the business community.”
The guide explains, for example, that employers do not always have to allow immigration authorities to enter their business and shows employers what types of warrants are generally necessary for immigration agents to enter a private area. It also encourages employers to train their staff to be ready for an immigration raid or I-9 audit and provides guidance on steps employers can take to support their communities after an enforcement action.
“Because many Asian low-wage immigrant workers depend on small businesses for their livelihood, we are prioritizing supporting these small businesses in the new economy and in this hostile anti-immigrant climate. We hope fear of immigration enforcement will not hurt our businesses and economic growth,” said Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA).
“The Thai Community Development Center has been part of an award winning Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program since 1998. Our business counselor works with Thai owned businesses and employers through our workshops, one-on-one counseling, and technical assistance. It is especially important that we utilize our existing program to communicate to employers their rights and responsibilities should immigration enforcement take place at their businesses so that any confusion may be avoided,” said Panida Rzonca, directing attorney at the Thai Community Development Center (Thai CDC).
“We know that there are many immigrant workers and employers who are undocumented. With the advent of the Trump administration, it remains important that as a community we continue to protect each other and work together,” said Alexandra Suh, executive director at Koreatown Immigrant Workers Association (KIWA).
Free Seminars for Employers and Workers
Local community groups will be providing free in-language seminars in Korean, Thai, and Chinese to small business owners in the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley area. The seminars will offer employers practical tips on how to protect themselves and their workers if immigration authorities try to enter their workplace or request information about workers. Seminars requests may be directed to Yanin Senachai at 213-241-0253 or [email protected]
Upcoming seminars include the following:
•Aug. 3, 5:30pm Reception, 6:00pm Seminar (Korean)
Location: 680 Wilshire Place, Suite 203, LA, CA 90005
•Aug. 5, 3:00pm (Thai)
Location: 821 Americana Way, Blue Conference Room, Glendale, CA 91210
•Sept. 22, 5:30pm (Mandarin, Vietnamese)
Asian Youth Center, City of Rosemead Chamber of Commerce
Location: 3936 Muscatel Ave. Rosemead, CA 91770
Contact: Florence Lin, 626-309-0622 x 105
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles President and Executive Director Stewart Kwoh speaking about the importance of employer trainings in an age of increased ICE raids.