By Joe Guzzardi
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has instituted immigration policies that make the 2021 United States the least secure it’s been in years. In the process of ignoring enforcement, Mayorkas is breaking immigration laws that previous Congresses have passed, and earlier presidents have signed.
In his Oct. 12 policy memo distributed to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Mayorkas revealed his latest in a long line of assaults on federal laws that include proactively encouraging mass illegal immigration at the southern border and gutting interior enforcement. Then, in late October, Mayorkas released yet another memo that neuters CBP and ICE. His so-called “guidance” bars immigration officials from entering “protected areas,” a vague category that could mean anywhere. Mayorkas’ reasoning is that ICE, by its mere presence, must not threaten aliens with possible deportation. The reality is, however, that illegal immigrants not suspected of criminal activity have effectively a zero chance of deportation.
A senior DHS official revealed that of the nearly 2 million migrants Homeland Security and Border Patrol encountered in FY2021, a historic high, more than 1.5 million crossed after President Biden’s inauguration and after his dramatic abandonment of the Trump administration’s immigration and border security guidelines. The report’s total excludes about 400,000 “got-aways” that have also joined the general interior population. As for the record-high totals, Mayorkas dismissed them as “nothing new.”
The 2 million illegal immigrants and the aliens who preceded them benefited from excellent timing. In September, Mayorkas announced that DHS would no longer pursue the 11 million illegally present aliens unless they had violent criminal histories or posed national security threats. Mayorkas’ excuse for his criminal neglect is the same impossible-to-confirm one the Obama administration fell back on: “limited resources.”
Mayorkas’ October bulletins, his latest anti-enforcement shoes to drop that represent a de facto amnesty, proclaimed that DHS would end workplace onsite actions which are specifically intended to remove illegal alien employees from their jobs. Then, Mayorkas deceptively added that DHS “has a critical role to ensure our nation’s workplaces comply with our laws,” and that his agency would not “tolerate unscrupulous employers who exploit unauthorized workers….” Under Mayorkas’ direction, DHS has given no indication that the agency is intent on complying with U.S. immigration laws at the workplace or anywhere else.
Unmistakably, Mayorkas is in direct violation of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, signed by President Ronald Reagan after approved by a Congress that included then-Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, which unambiguously forbids and identifies as a criminal act illegal immigrant hiring. Congress, motivated by a two-fold desire to cut off the jobs magnet that lures illegal immigrants north and to protect American workers, overwhelmingly passed IRCA.
With a mere memo, Mayorkas wiped out IRCA, and took another big step forward toward facilitating the displacement of American workers. Hiring illegal immigrants is a crime, but under Mayorkas, employers get off scot-free. Employers who hire unlawfully present workers will escape punishment unless they have engaged in “abusive and exploitative labor practices.” The penalty under U.S. law for employing an individual not authorized to legally work in the U.S. ranges up to $16,000 per alien, and up to ten years in prison.
With the 20,000-personnel-strong ICE mostly gutted, and its 400 worldwide offices limited in their operational scope, Mayorkas has put Americans’ safety in jeopardy. During 2020, on an average day, ICE seized 4,000 pounds of narcotics, managed 3.3 million immigration cases, issued 335 detainers, arrested 87 criminals, made 284 administrative arrests, seized $4.93 million in illicit currency and assets, conducted 509 removals and deported 12 gang members.
With violent crime spiking in 2021, police officers leaving their jobs and now ICE all but dismantled, the Biden-Mayorkas tandem has put law-abiding citizens more in harm’s way than at any time in the past, and for no apparent reason other than to pursue their dangerous political agenda.
Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. Contact him at email@example.com.