In a memo released last week, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of the Department of Homeland Security wrote that ICE will no longer conduct workplace raids where undocumented people are employed. The real problem, Mayorkas emphasized, is “exploitative employers.” Mayorkas went on to say that workplace raids were used by employers to retaliate against undocumented workers asserting their rights under labor law.
The policy shift is part of a larger effort by the Biden administration to go after businesses that violate labor laws, per NPR. The policy change includes support for sparing workers from immigration charges if they either witness or are the victims of workplace exploitation. “We will not tolerate unscrupulous employers who exploit unauthorized workers, conduct illegal activities, or impose unsafe working conditions,” Mayorkas said in a statement.
Immigration Advocates Support the Policy Change
While immigration advocates like the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) applauded the end of workplace raids, they also repeated their calls for permanent reform—including legal protections for undocumented immigrants and TPS beneficiaries. As we reported on our blog before, recent attempts to build a pathway to citizenship have stalled in Congress.
“We also ask Congress to act courageously and swiftly to include funds in the reconciliation package to provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, farm workers, and essential workers,” said Nicole Melaku of NPNA.
Speak with The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett Esq., P.C. today in a confidential consultation to discuss your immigration situation. Call (800) 909-8129 today.