BERKELEY (KCBS) – East Bay leaders have agreed to send letters to the Obama administration, asking that audits of businesses by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials be stopped.

Labor leaders said they are concerned about the growing ICE practice, which they said is leading to mass firings across the country.

The audits have targeted employees with no legal immigration status and led to the firing of hundreds of janitors in San Francisco.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

The Alameda Labor Council said it is appealing to local leaders, after a recent audit at the Pacific Steel Castings Factory in Berkeley, which employs 500 people.

Oakland City Council Member Ignacio De La Fuente, who also serves as vice president of the union representing the workers, said firings at the factory could be imminent and affect hundreds of employees.

“The impact to them and their families is going to be very dramatic,” he said. “The impact to the economy and the entire operation of this plant is going to be very dramatic.”

De La Fuente said he wants the audits stopped while immigration reform is addressed.

Among those lending support to the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 5 was Gerardo Dominguez.

“It is really depressing to see hard-working, decent people being dehumanized by the system,” Dominguez said.

ICE officials wouldn’t confirm the Berkeley audit. But in a statement, it called the practice “one of its most powerful tools” in ensuring that businesses are complying with employment laws.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (12)
  1. shw says:

    The only real solution is to cut off all benefits and start a Guest worker program. And get rid of the anchor baby ammendment!

    1. PeepsRepublik says:

      We HAVE a guest worker program that used to work very well. But, in order the create the current crisis the process has been intentionally mishandled for decades making it virtually impossible for applicants to get the permits in a timely fashion. used to be that applicants could apply and receive the green card for agricultural work in a couple of months. Now it takes years. So climbing the fence or swimming the river has become virtual the only way.

      The system needs to be fixed by removing the corruption. and WE DO NOT NEED COMPREHENSIVE REFORM. We need the law enforced and government officials who have propagated this situation to become what it has fired.

  2. Sam Mallory says:

    haha East Bay leaders have no clue what it takes to run anything other then a blender…..

  3. Melba bertush says:

    Wow, look at all the jobs that will be freed up for US citizens.

  4. Melba Bertush says:

    All the military personal who are now homeless because of unimployment whould love to have a job with Paific States Steel or a janitor. Sure would get them off the streets. Talk about de-humanizing our veterans at the cost of jobs for illegals. It seems to me that legislators have a disregard for the very people that elect them. Vote them all out. Elect those that vote for the USA citizen FIRST!

  5. G says:

    Keep looking for the illegals and deport all of them. I guess Oakland officals are afraid ICE will find the ones working for the governemtn officals. All business should be fined over $50,000 per iliegal person found working in their business

  6. john andrews says:

    UHH… Does that mean that the company could not find any legal workers or that they would not hire legal workers… some companies hire illegals so that they don’t have to offer a competetive wage and benefit package.. so that they can ignore safety regulations because they know that the illegal worker aren’t going to complain about bad and unsafe working conditions. there are lots of vets out of work and lots of illegals working high paying jobs.. they should fine these companies and start jailing the ceo’s …

  7. genomega1 says:

    President Eisenhower deported 12 million illegals to provide jobs for returning soldiers. Politicians today tell us that it is not possible.

    1. Melba Bertush says:

      So..genomega1, Thru what agency or web site can we appeal to Obama to furnish jobs to America citizens and especially veterans? This insanity must stop!

  8. Send them back says:

    I saw this story on the news last night. They had this illegal woman speak for them. She had worked at the plant for 8 years, and was afraid she would be deported. Guess what – the f-ing ho only spoke Spanish, and had to use an interpreter. EIGHT YEARS!!! And she still couldn’t speak English!! That’s why every single one of those illegal leaches should have their butts kicked back to Mexico!! Get rid of them now!!

  9. logicnow says:

    how are they in a union if they are illegal?? and what is a union leader (aka thug) doing trying to protect illegal workers?? I thought the whole point of unions was to protect workers with high wages, not allow illegals to drag down the hr/rate. Though, I laugh every time I see union slugs hire illegals to do yard work or any type of construction at their house. Apparently they feel paying union wages for labor work is bit pricey.
    The bigger issue is why stop with ICE! I demand that we stop the IRS from doing audits! talk about dehumanizing. If illegals don’t have to worry about the law or taxes why should I??? And iI guess its ok if I speed through Breklstan now right?? because traffic court is dehumanizing and really impacts my life.
    I love it when politicians don’t understand what ‘laws’ are, these loser politicians should be tossed out, they are a cancer to the USA

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