Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said Tuesday that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will end their large-scale immigration arrests at job sites.
“The deployment of mass worksite operations, sometimes resulting in the simultaneous arrest of hundreds of workers, was not focused on the most pernicious aspect of our country’s unauthorized employment challenge: exploitative employers,” Mayorkas stated.
According to the Washington Post, Mayorkas ordered an enforcement policy review, while also giving officials 60 days to come up with better proposals to protect workers from facing deportation. ICE raiders have been used against industries that are known to employ large numbers of immigrants.
The Biden administration’s announcement comes as part of a strategy shift to put emphasis on holding businesses and employers accountable for violating labor law (NPR). Many Democrats have expressed opposition to these raids, claiming they punish the workers rather than the employers.
“We will not tolerate unscrupulous employers who exploit unauthorized workers, conduct illegal activities, or impose unsafe working conditions,” Mayorkas said in a news release. “By adopting policies that focus on the most unscrupulous employers, we will protect workers as well as legitimize American businesses.”
GOP lawmakers have pushed for a system that would require workers to check the legal status of potential new hires in a federal database. However, in 2019 hundreds of illegal workers were able to bypass the system by using someone else’s legal documents.
Immigration advocacy groups have come out in support of the change in policy. However, groups like the National Partnership for New Americans have continued to call for further reform. “We also ask Congress to act courageously and swiftly include funds in the reconciliation package to provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, farmworkers, and essential workers,” said Nicole Melaku, the executive director for the group. Many congressional members agree that this policy shift is a move in the right direction.
ARTICLE: JILLIAN WEIDNER
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE EPOCH TIMES
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