Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is serious about dismantling the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. On Tuesday, the secretary sent a memo to ICE Director Tae Johnson telling him to stop any mass worksite deportation raids, calling them a “misallocation of resources.”
“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,” Mayorkas said in the memo.
Mayorkas sent a directive out last month that banned ICE agents from using immigration status alone as a determining factor in deciding if an illegal alien should be deported. So the workplace raids wouldn’t have resulted in many deportations anyway.
However, the Biden administration has dramatically narrowed ICE’s scope for enforcement, including rules that limit ICE officers to focusing on recent border crossers, aggravated felons and national security threats. That guidance coincided with a significant drop in arrests and deportations. Critics have accused the Biden administration of gutting ICE as part of a broader, more lax approach to illegal immigration that has encouraged an enormous migrant surge at the southern border.
“After the issuance of today’s memorandum effectively ending worksite enforcement – on top of other radical policy changes that are getting hard to count – one thing is clear: Secretary Mayorkas is the biggest disaster for border security and immigration enforcement in American history,” RJ Hauman, head of government relations for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) told Fox News. “Since the Biden administration cannot abolish ICE outright, Mayorkas is destroying it from within.”
By the time Biden and Mayorkas are through with the agency, there won’t be anything left to salvage.
The purpose of the memo is not to find and punish employers who are breaking the law by exploiting workers, but rather to offer another way for illegals to evade deportation.
The memo, which focuses on protecting illegal immigrants rather than directly going after unscrupulous employers, orders to agency to develop plans to “alleviate or mitigate the fear” that witnesses or victims of labor exploitation may have regarding cooperation with law enforcement. It says the plans should include plans to provide protection from deportation for those who witness or are victims of “abusive and exploitative labor practices.”
It also calls for ICE to identify any policies that “may impede non-citizens workers, including victims of forced labor, from asserting their workplace rights” and to present recommendations to change them.
Any employer who knowingly employs illegal aliens should be punished to the full extent of the law. Not only are they exploiting the workers, but they are skewing the labor market by offering substandard wages.
But the Biden administration doesn’t care if illegals are working, only that employers are obeying labor laws. That’s a fine and noble goal except isn’t it putting the cart before the horse? Shouldn’t the government enforce immigration law first and then worry about unfair labor practices?
Never try to make sense of government policy.