Mayorkas’ DHS Memo to ICE Shifts Policy on Illegal Immigrant Labor


The border crisis has left Texas reeling due to the wave of South and Central Americans pursuing immigrant status in the US. This has been the case since the start of the Biden administration, who has currently no plan to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the US. On the contrary, the seeming plan appears to inundate the US with more migrants.

Policy Shift

The latest move from DHS can leave one scratching head. The shift of the policy of the administration cracks down on employers who hire illegal immigrants, while protecting the illegal immigrants from legal persecution. In the latest DHS memo, Mayorkas points out ICE should ‘cease mass worksite operations’ which leads to arrests of illegal immigrants, and likewise takes on a narrow approach to DHS prosecuting illegal immigrants in favor of the Department of Labor.  

The policy direction in Mayorkas’ memo states:

“We will serve these important interests by adopting policies and practices that achieve the following:

  • Reduce the demand for illegal employment by delivering more severe consequences to exploitative employers and their agents;
  • Increase the willingness of workers to report violations of law by exploitative employers and cooperate in employment and labor standards investigations; and,
  •  Broaden and deepen mechanisms for coordination between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor, the Department of Justice, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, and state labor agencies.”

ICE Pushed Out of The Way?

The memo seems to completely render ICE powerless to implement its mandate and out of the way of the Biden administration’s policy implementation.

Although, clearly, human trafficking is a problem and should be prosecuted, the question remains as to how to implement these policies. There is no clear legal basis as to how illegal immigrants can report trafficking, and why a legal business should be shut down in favor of the illegal immigrants.

Another question that arises about the wisdom of the labor market, too. How the government will separate the immigrants who seek protection from exploitation and those who simply want to make a ‘fair pay’ inspite of the citizenship status? 

Twitter Reactions to Mayorkas

At the moment, the dilemma seems to unfold further. As the border crisis worsens, the government has to react quickly and prevent the mass migration of peoples without any plan at all.

Twitter goes off on a rant in relation to developments at the border crisis and Mayorkas’ memo.

Range of Consequences of Mayorkas’ Orders

Whether from Mexico or Haiti, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that this is more in favor of other countries, who will be encouraged to migrate illegally into the USA. It could also further encourage unionization of illegal immigrants leading to more problems for states to grapple with.