Too often, workplace raids and audits are used as cover to suppress the rights of working people who speak up for safe, just and dignified working conditions. Below are many of the materials and tools we developed to prepare for, and resist, the unjust workplace raids and audits that undermine the rights of all workers.
This toolkit seeks to equip labor and community organizers, advocates and law practitioners with the necessary information to navigate escalating attacks on immigrant workers and their families. Under the previous administration, worksite enforcement mainly was pursued through I-9 audits, or “silent raids,” in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents review an employer’s I-9 records for irregularities and target individuals for enforcement based on that information. However, in the current political climate, we expect a return of more aggressive workplace enforcement actions, including raids that result in the immediate arrest of workers.
As such, this toolkit will explain the processes and players involved in worksite enforcement, and provide resources and guidance on how to prepare for and respond to a raid or audit. We have provided many useful sample materials to help inform and equip worker advocates, including sample immigration-related contract language and responses to “no-match” letters from the Social Security Administration, as well as sample letters for advocates and union officials, and other helpful resources.
It must be noted that the most current regulations and rulings at the time of publication are the basis for the recommendations in this toolkit, but the immigration enforcement and policy landscape is shifting quickly in the new administration. This toolkit provides only general information; you should consult legal counsel about any specific issues or questions that may arise. The AFL-CIO will work to update this information as new developments unfold, and will stay in active communication with advocates and organizers on the ground in order to understand how we can be most effective in defending workers’ rights in the context of evolving worksite enforcement practices.
By providing these resources in a single toolkit, we hope labor organizers and advocates may be better prepared to tackle the many challenges that arise in their efforts to help immigrant workers assert their labor rights and gain a voice on the job.