Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) Alejandro Mayorkas ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to suspend mass raids of illegal immigrants at workplaces.
Mayorkas indicated in a memorandum that the Biden administration will prosecute employers who do not pay undocumented immigrants well and also encourages employers to report them, according to Axios of Oct. 12, 2009.
He also noted that illegal immigrants could be offered protection from deportation if they witness such abuse or have been exploited themselves.
The statement appears to provide wage protections, workplace safety, labor rights, and other employment laws and regulations to those illegally residing in the country.
It would also reduce the number of arrests of illegal immigrants, which is one of the administration’s goals. In fact, the administration announced last month that being undocumented would no longer be grounds for detention by immigration authorities, CNBC noted.
The Biden administration’s new provisions could make the border crisis created by the large influx of undocumented immigrants even more complex.
In July and August, foreigners who did not follow the legal process to enter the country exceeded 200,000 people. For this month, Mayorkas himself suggested that it could be 400,000 if Title 42 public health protections were terminated.
Federal law prohibits the employment of illegal immigrants, but Mayorkas “doesn’t want to enforce that law,” said Rob Law, director of regulatory policy at the Center for Immigration Studies.
He added: “Mayorkas actually wants to encourage illegal aliens to get into and remain in the workforce. I think that’s the key thing here: Mayorkas is actually becoming the greatest champion of illegal alien workers.”
“That’s astonishing, that the Secretary of Homeland Security is the greatest advocate for illegal alien workers in this country,” Law continued.
For its part, the Center for American Progress reported in December 2020 that more than 7 million illegal immigrants were working in the country. They account for 13% of all construction workers and occupy about 8.4% of the accommodation and food services sector jobs.
Also, 10% of administrative and support and waste management industries and 25% of agricultural, fishing, and forestry occupations.
Mayorkas’ statement also says, “We can most effectively protect the American labor market, the conditions of the American worksite, and the dignity of the individual by focusing our worksite enforcement efforts on unscrupulous employers. This is how we will proceed.”
However, for author Neil Munro: “Mayorkas’s reference to the “dignity of the individual” refers to migrants, not to Americans sidelined by his cheap labor, pro-migration policies.”