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Homeland Security Secretary Directs Immigration to Target Employers and not Undocumented Immigrants

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has directed immigration to stop arresting undocumented immigrants at work and focus on employers taking advantage of them instead. Mayorkas mentioned that these employers pay substandard wages, have immigrants work in unsafe environments, and help child exploitation and human trafficking. This announcement is a different approach to immigration in the workplace than the former administration had. Former President Donald Trump targeted undocumented immigrants at work. In Fact, in 2019, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested almost 700 illegal immigrants in a processing plant in Mississippi. This raid was the most extensive immigration operation in U.S. history.


Immigration agencies have 60 days to develop policies stricter for employers who exploit immigrants. This announcement is part of the efforts from the Biden administration to narrow down on who can be arrested by immigration officials. The Biden administration announced last month that immigration authorities would not deport immigrants only because they are undocumented.


The Center for American Progress reported in December 2020 that more than 7 million undocumented immigrants are working in the United States. They make up for 25% of workers in farming, 13% of construction, among other workplaces.


In addition, Mayorkas mentioned the efforts to protect undocumented immigrants who are victims or witnesses of labor exploitation and abuse. He guided immigration officials to consider granting these victims or witnesses temporary legal status rather than placing them in deportation.


If you or anyone you know is a victim of labor exploitation or has witnessed abuse at work, please get in touch with Pikes Peak Immigration to schedule a consultation.