Mayorkas Tells ICE to Stop Worksite Deportation Raids

Headline Roundup October 12th, 2021

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in a memo sent Tuesday to cease mass worksite deportation raids. Mayorkas said the Biden administration would instead focus on penalizing employers who hire immigrants without work authorizations, rather than the immigrants themselves. The memo also instructed DHS officials to consider temporary legal status for unauthorized immigrants who allegedly faced labor exploitation instead of immediately placing them in deportation proceedings.

Coverage from right-rated sources often framed the announcement as an example of government overreach and an unnecessary limitation of immigration enforcement. Some coverage from left-rated sources highlighted examples of large worksite raids carried out during the Trump administration and juxtaposed them with the Biden administration's new directive.

From the Left

The Biden administration on Tuesday announced U.S. immigration authorities will no longer carry out mass arrests of unauthorized immigrants at work sites, saying law enforcement efforts should focus on holding exploitative employers accountable.

In a memo, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should prioritize combating illegal acts committed by "unscrupulous" employers, whom he noted often pay workers substandard wages, subject them to unsafe working conditions and facilitate human trafficking and child exploitation.

"Our worksite enforcement efforts can have a significant impact on the well-being of individuals and...

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From the Center

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday issued a memo ordering U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to stop mass worksite raids.

Driving the news: Mayorkas said the Biden administration would instead focus on pursuing employers who hire and take advantage of immigrants without work authorizations, rather than the employees.

State of play: DHS said in the memo that it is also considering options to offer protection from deportation for undocumented immigrants who witness or are victims of "abusive or exploitable labor practices."

What they're saying: "We will not tolerate unscrupulous employers who exploit unauthorized workers,...

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From the Right

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to immediately stop any mass worksite deportation raids, in what is the latest limit placed on ICE's deportation powers.

"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 said in a memo to acting ICE Director Tae Johnson.

"These highly visible operations misallocated enforcement resources while chilling, and even serving as a retaliation for, worker cooperation in workplace...

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