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Homeland Security chief orders ICE to stop mass workplace raids

Washington, Oct 12 (Prensa Latina) Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday directed U.S. immigration authorities to stop mass worksite arrests of undocumented immigrants.

In a memo to immigration agency officials, Mayorkas outlined new enforcement priorities that aim to target employers that exploit unauthorized immigrants.

‘We will not tolerate unscrupulous employers who exploit unauthorized workers, conduct illegal activities, or impose unsafe working conditions,’ Mayorkas said in a news release about the shift.

In 2000, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) had a daily average of 40,000 people arrested and currently has just over 21,800 in its custody in different detention centers nationwide.

Specifically, workplace raids dropped from 6,000 in December 2020 to 3,600 in August 2021, according to ICE´s statistics.

Such a decision is in addition to the one already announced on September 30, as President Joe Biden took new guidelines on deportations in an attempt to improve government’s image concerning the existing immigration crisis in the country.

Those rules, which will take effect on November 29, seek to avoid individuals -who have been in the United States for a long time and have no criminal record- being deported.

These actions come as Biden’s immigration agenda has been lashed out from Democrats and Republicans, who said that present US administration vowed a more humane approach to this matter and still applies policies from Donald Trump-era (2017-2021).