Attorney General Xavier Becerra tries to quash rumors of ICE raids

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In recent days, rumors have been circulating of imminent immigration enforcement raids throughout California. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

There were strong words Thursday to the federal government from California's Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who said that immigrants living in California should not believe they don't have rights.

He scheduled a press conference amid rumors of an "imminent immigration enforcement sweep" in the state.

RELATED: Many prepare amid rumors of ICE crackdown in Bay Area

He reminded Immigration and Customs Enforcement that any sweeps must be done according to federal law and the constitution.

This is another example that California continues to go head to head against the Trump administration. Becerra spelled it out for immigration officials, "The constitution is the constitution and people have rights."

"Our state laws essentially say that we want to protect people's rights to privacy and we want to protect their ability to go about their business of going to work and feeding their kids," said Becerra at a news conference.

RELATED: Immigration raid targets dozens of 7-Eleven stores

California's chief law enforcement officer also reminded people that the state now has two laws on the books that went into effect this year, Senate Bill 54 and Assembly Bill 450.

SB 54 basically makes California a sanctuary state. With regard to AB450, Becerra said employers who violate the new law face fines of up to $10,000.

"It's important, given these rumors out there, to let people and more specifically employers know that if they voluntarily start giving up information about their employees in ways that contradict our new California law, they subject themselves to actions by my office or local prosecutors enforcing AB 450," he said.

According to ICE, the number of undocumented immigrants has gone up 42 percent since President Trump took office. Those are arrests, not deportations. We have to make it clear that the number of deportations under Mr. Trump is well below what we saw under the Obama administration.

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Related Topics:
politicsimmigrationimmigration reformICEraidattorney generalCalifornia
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