What Employers Need To Know About Immigration Raids on their Premises
Restaurant owners and operators aren’t usually experts in conducting evaluations of work authorization documents. According to the Pew Research Center, roughly 20 percent of cooks in restaurants nationwide and around 30 percent of dishwashers may be undocumented workers. Historically, restaurants have been targets of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids, and as the new administration broadens the enforcement priorities, more raids are to occur.
An ICE raid could lead to civil and criminal charges. It is essential to consult legal counsel on such matters. Here’s an overview which provides restaurant owners and operators with basic considerations in case of a possible raid.
Identify a first responder who will interact with the raid office while they are on your premises.
Advise your employees to not block or interfere as the ICE officers conduct their activities.
Suggest employees that they can contact the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) if they have any questions about their rights.
Be sure you ask the ICE for the search warrant and check that it is
Contact your attorney immediately, although the ICE officers will not delay the raid to wait for your attorney.
Do not engage in any illegal activities such as hiding employees, or aiding in their escape from the premises, or denying the presence of employees, shredding documents or providing misleading information. Contact the families of any detained worker, debrief your employees and make notes for your attorney.