The change comes during a labor shortage in the United States, assuring that undocumented workers are not at risk of being deported en masse.
The Biden administration announced Tuesday that it would not make mass arrests of undocumented workers during enforcement actions at US businesses, a reversal of Trump administration policies and the latest indication to millions of immigrants that they were not a priority for deportation.
Known as workplace raids, such arrests have long been criticized by immigration advocates for spreading fear and letting workers report labor violations out of concern that they may be arrested. Will go So far, these raids have not been a fixture during the Biden administration.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayerkas said Statement Enforcement efforts at work sites will instead focus on “dishonest employers who exploit unauthorized workers, conduct illegal activities or enforce unsafe working conditions.” He called for recommendations over the next 60 days from the department’s immigration agencies to identify policies and agreements that affect enforcement of labor laws and how to “reduce or reduce” the concerns and fears that undocumented workers have. were about exploitative employers.
The policy comes during a severe labor shortage in the United States stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, and assures that undocumented workers are not at risk of being mass deported. The strategy also reflects the promises that President Biden has made about taking a softer approach to immigration policy than his predecessor.
Some companies that rely on undocumented workers pay them below market rates for jobs, exploit immigrants and undermine competitors.
“Refocusing resources to combat exploitative employers is a necessary step to protect the US labor market and workers,” said Representative Benny Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi and chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.
Republicans criticized the policy. “It Makes Our Country Less Safe and Less Safe,” the research arm of the Republican National Committee wrote on twitter.
Workplace raids, which Mr Meyerkas described as “resource-intensive”, were a priority during the Trump administration, which targeted employers as well as undocumented workers. Its goal was to prevent immigrants from crossing the border illegally to work in the United States. George W. The Bush administration launched high-profile workplace raids to prompt Congress to pass an immigration overhaul, but lawmakers failed to reach a consensus.
The Obama administration sought to focus workplace enforcement efforts on employers who hired undocumented workers rather than the workers themselves, prioritizing audits of employee files. Nevertheless, the policy resulted in thousands of undocumented workers being fired.
Employers are required by law to check whether the people they hire are legally allowed to work in the United States. Many administrations have insisted on using a program for a nationwide requirement called the . is referred to as e-verify To confirm that employees are allowed to work in the country. But it currently remains a voluntary program for most employers.
Immigration Advocates Applauded New workplace enforcement strategyBut he said it was not an option to create a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants.
Nicole Melaku, executive director of the National Partnership for New Commitment is needed, not just in their workplaces.” Americans said in a statement on Tuesday. “We need permanent security now.”
Democrats have tried to include a measure in a billion-dollar spending package that would pave the way for citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, but their efforts have failed.
The workplace enforcement policy also echoes new guidance for immigration enforcement priorities that were designed to partly end the indiscriminate arrests that became common during the Trump administration.
Mary Jordan Contributed reporting.