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Biden to allow illegal immigrants to avoid deportation if they report employers for 'labor abuses'

"Unscrupulous employers who prey on the vulnerability of non-citizen workers harm all workers and disadvantage businesses who play by the rules ... We will hold these predatory actors accountable."

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The Biden administration will offer a streamlined deportation "relief" process to illegal immigrants who report labor abuses, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Friday.

According to a new webpage, illegal immigrants are encouraged to cooperate with law enforcement investigations, and in exchange will be shielded from potential employer retaliation and will have their deportation relief process expedited.



"Unscrupulous employers who prey on the vulnerability of non-citizen workers harm all workers and disadvantage businesses who play by the rules," DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. "We will hold these predatory actors accountable."

The new process change announced today received swift approval from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which represents searly 2 million workers, according to Reuters.

"Today’s announcement benefits all of our members and all workers who are fighting for better working conditions, wages and the right to join together in unions," SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry said in a statement.

While there have already been dozens of cases of immigrants receiving deportation relief in recent years as a means of protecting whistleblowers, DHS will now be actively and aggressively promoting the process, and expediting the request, a senior department official told Reuters.

"Our goal is to make it more accessible," said the official, who requested to not be named.

The updated policy is an expansion of the principles Mayorkas outlined in a memo from October 2021 regarding immigration enforcement within workplaces.

In the memo, Mayorkas outlined the department's focus on "delivering more severe consequences" to "unscrupulous employers who exploit the vulnerability of undocumented workers," the goal being to "increase the willingness of workers to report violations of law."

The DHS Secretary also called for the immediate elimination of large-scale raids on workplaces, arguing that the "highly visible" nature of these operations discourages "worker cooperation in workplace standards investigations."

These large-scale raids were a key pillar of former president Donald Trump's immigration enforcement.

President Biden told the North American Leaders' Summit earlier this week that his approach to tackling immigration, which has skyrocketed to record numbers under his administration, would be to allow more migrants to qualify as legal.

Such raids were a prominent part of Republican former President Donald Trump's approach to immigration enforcement.
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