This is something of a new twist on a story which has long since become old and tired. In the Sanctuary State of California you can find many Sanctuary Cities, all of whom are busily thinking up ways to “fight Trump” by refusing to enforce the nation’s laws. But now the city of Oakland has really upped their game to the next level. Why leave all of this lawlessness in the hands of the elected officials when you can privatize the system of lawbreaking? That’s right… they’ve moved to formally endorse private workplaces who choose to violate the law. (CBS local)
As the battle grows over sanctuary cities, a resolution passed by the Oakland City Council Tuesday night urges employers to refrain from voluntarily working with immigration officials…
Outside Tuesday’s meeting, immigrant rights groups rallied outside City Hall, calling for protections for immigrant employees.
“We want to make sure that the employer doesn’t work with ICE or immigration when they come to the worksites. That the companies don’t do self-audits and that workers are able to work without fear,” an advocate said.
Oakland City Councilmember Abel Guillen introduced the measure calling for “sanctuary workplaces, where workers are respected and not discriminated against or threatened based on their immigration status.”
They decided to feature a woman named Maria Martinez, a hotel housekeeper who claimed that her employer retaliated against her fellow employees for trying to unionize. The “retaliation” in question was a decision to call ICE and have them come check the paperwork of all of the employees to determine if they were in the country legally. I’ll be the first to admit that this sounds like dirty pool to a certain degree, but the management was already out of bounds if they were knowingly employing illegal immigrants or those who they suspected might be illegals in the first place.
And that brings us to the larger question of the Oakland resolution. One member of the City Council who endorsed the measure called for, “sanctuary workplaces, where workers are respected and not discriminated against or threatened based on their immigration status.”
Let’s allow that to sink in for a moment. We can have a debate until we’re blue in the face about whether the act of being in the country illegally is a “crime” or a “civil violation” if you wish. (It’s still illegal no matter what verbiage you choose.) But when you start talking about civilian employers we’ve opened up a new can of worms. You see, no matter what the “status” of the employees may be, the city officials are encouraging the employers to violate federal law. Specifically, we’re talking about another section of 8 U.S. Code § 1324a – Unlawful employment of aliens.
(a) Making employment of unauthorized aliens unlawful
(1) In general it is unlawful for a person or other entity—
(A) to hire, or to recruit or refer for a fee, for employment in the United States an alien knowing the alien is an unauthorized alien (as defined in subsection (h)(3)) with respect to such employment, or
(i) to hire for employment in the United States an individual without complying with the requirements of subsection (b) or (ii) if the person or entity is an agricultural association, agricultural employer, or farm labor contractor (as defined in section 1802 of title 29), to hire, or to recruit or refer for a fee, for employment in the United States an individual without complying with the requirements of subsection (b).
So the Oakland City Council has officially gone on record as encouraging employers to violate federal law. And oh, just by the way, the act of formalizing this encouragement also appears to be in violation of a related statute, that being 8 U.S. Code § 1324 (a)(1)(A)(iv) which specifies criminal penalties for anyone who, “encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.”
There was a time when we were simply talking about cutting off federal DoJ grant money and funding to cities who were engaged in this behavior. But at this point shouldn’t we be wondering if the Attorney General can’t order the arrest of these City Council members? They are clearly violating federal law and bragging about it to the news networks.