The Department of Homeland Security will no longer conduct raids on workplaces that employ illegal aliens, the latest effort from the White House to curtail the agency's mission to enforce immigration law.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests at worksites could discourage illegal immigrants from reporting other unlawful employment practices in violation of a Biden administration directive. DHS will now privilege other investigations that "most effectively protect the American labor market," according to the memo released Tuesday.
"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," the memo says. "These highly visible operations misallocated enforcement resources while chilling, and even serving as a tool of retaliation for, worker cooperation in workplace standards investigations."
Worksite raids increased by nearly 400 percent in 2018 under former president Donald Trump, leading to the arrest and deportation of thousands of illegal aliens. During former president Barack Obama’s last year in office, ICE made just 106 worksite arrests.