Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas released a memo directing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to cease mass workplace raids targeting undocumented workers.
Cynthia Garcia, National Campaigns Manager for Community Protection of United We Dream, said:
“For millions of undocumented essential workers across the country, the always-looming threat of deportation has often quelled their right to speak out against the workplace violations they face. Secretary Mayorkas’ memo is a long-overdue effort to begin protecting undocumented workers and better identify exploitative employers who have long used the threat of deportation as a mechanism to harass and abuse undocumented people while profiting from their labor.
Yet despite the Department’s recent memo, the truth remains that companies and employers will continue to exert power over undocumented workers the longer workers are denied a pathway to citizenship. Without citizenship, millions of undocumented workers will continue to be denied life-saving benefits, including health care, which are often accessed through their employers.
The Biden administration and Congress must understand that protecting undocumented communities cannot solely happen in pieces, memo-by-memo. The threat of deportation will continue to exist outside of the workplace. Undocumented workers will continue to be barred from accessing resources and services simply because of their status. Delivering citizenship would be a major step forward in ensuring that all immigrants have full access to basic human rights. The Biden administration and Congress must deliver citizenship for millions now.”