For Immediate Release: October 12, 2021
We Are Home Campaign: New DHS Worksite Enforcement Strategy An Important Step In Protecting Workers Rights
Washington, D.C. – Today, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas released an agency memorandum on worksite enforcement to outline DHS’s strategy to “protect the American labor market, the conditions of the American worksite, and the dignity of the individual.”
The memo describes DHS’s role in supporting protections for workers and labor rights and directs the development of an agency-wide strategy that will support greater enforcement of employment and labor standards. It also sets forth immediate guidance to cease mass worksite operations by ICE and to consider requests for prosecutorial discretion for workers who are victims or, or witnesses to, workplace exploitation.
Sonia Lin, Executive Strategy Director for the We Are Home campaign, said:
“The Biden Administration’s new worksite enforcement strategy is an important step in protecting the rights and safety of all workers. The memo recognizes how ICE enforcement can undermine workers rights. It rightfully ends the destructive practice of mass worksite raids that have brought so much harm to communities. It also acknowledges the leadership of immigrant workers and the importance of protecting those who help protect labor standards. Immigrant workers in industries across the country have led with courage in standing up for their rights and against exploitation by unscrupulous employers. These efforts are crucial and must be defended.
To succeed in this strategy and combat ongoing fear among immigrants, DHS must robustly implement the principles and policies outlined in this memo in partnership with immigrant communities.”
Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, said:
“Today’s welcome announcement by the Biden administration signals pivotal changes ahead that will make workplaces across the country safer and more equitable for all workers and finally puts an end to deeply harmful worksite raids. We applaud Secretary Mayorkas for taking this transformational step that represents a paradigm shift away from targeting undocumented workers to holding accountable the unscrupulous employers who are the ones responsible for depressing working conditions for all workers. We look forward to continuing to partner with unions, workers’ rights partners, and the Biden administration to secure critical worker protections that will strengthen labor standards for all workers and create a more just and inclusive immigration system that recognizes the humanity and contributions of all immigrants.”
We Are Home is a nationwide campaign fighting to ensure that “we the people” includes all of us. Our mission is to transform America’s inhumane immigration system. We must undo the damage of the last four years and build a new immigration system that is fair, humane, functional, and centered in racial justice, and respects all people, regardless of race, religion, or birthplace. And we must immediately enact legislation that creates a roadmap to citizenship for every immigrant who calls this country home.. We Are Home is co-chaired by Community Change/Community Change Action; National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)/Care in Action; Service Employees International Union (SEIU); United Farm Workers (UFW), and United We Dream.