The Biden Administration announced Tuesday that there will be no more worksite raids in search of undocumented immigrants and more focus on employers and enforcement of labor laws.
A Mayorkas memorandum stated the end of mass raids at worksites. The raids “were used as a tool by exploitative employers to suppress and retaliate against workers’ assertion of labor laws,” the statement said.
“Employers engaged in illegal acts compel the focus of our enforcement resources,” Mayorkas said. “By adopting policies that focus on the most unscrupulous employers, we will protect workers as well as legitimate American businesses.”
At the beginning of 2020, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reached a daily average of 40,000 detainees and currently has just over 21,800 in its custody in different detention centers across the country.
Detentions, which included worksite raids, dropped from 6,000 last December to 3,600 in August, according to ICE data.
Last July, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus said in a statement that “the vilification of immigrant communities has led to increased surveillance operations and arrests by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, often in collaboration with local police.”
“Raids and mass arrests targeting predominately immigrant communities, which often occur in schools or the workplace, erode trust between immigrant communities and law enforcement,” the statement added.
This memorandum joins the change in priorities for ICE’s arrests and deportations of undocumented immigrants that the government announced on September 30, which will take effect on November 29.
Under the new rules, the priority will be the detention and deportation of criminals and recent illegal border crossers.