Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced on Friday that he directed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to cancel fining illegal aliens who fail to leave the United States, claiming that fining people who are illegally in the U.S. runs “counter to the agency’s best interest.”
“There is no indication that these penalties promoted compliance with noncitizens’ departure obligations,” Mayorkas said. “We can enforce our immigration laws without resorting to ineffective and unnecessary punitive measures.”
Mayorkas, who has presided over an immigration crisis exploding on the southern border under the new administration, claimed that the fines were not effective and did not “meaningfully advanced the interests of the agency.”
DHS said in a statement:
The two delegation orders—ICE Delegation No. 01-2018, Delegation of Authority to Administer and Enforce Provisions Relating to Civil Penalties for Failure to Depart, and ICE Delegation No. 006-2020, Delegation of Authority to Administer Certain Provisions Relating to Civil Penalties for Failure to Depart—delegated to certain ICE officials the authority to administer and enforce certain civil penalties for noncitizens who fail to depart.
“ICE intends to work with the Department of Treasury to cancel the existing debts of those who had been fined,” the statement added. “Although ICE has had the authority to assess financial penalties to individuals for failing to depart for more than 20 years, the agency did not initiate enforcement of these penalties until 2018. As of January 20, 2021, ICE ceased issuing these fines. This formalizes the Biden Administration’s change in direction.”
Former Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf responded to the news by writing: “Just when you think the Biden administration’s immigration policies and agenda can’t get worse … it does.”
“How does [sic] withdrawing a consequence (i.e. fine) and holding individuals accountable when they overstay their visa and fail to depart in the best interests of DHS?” Wolf added.
How does withdrawing a consequence (i.e. fine) and holding individuals accountable when they overstay their visa and fail to depart in the best interests of DHS?
— Chad Wolf (@ChadFWolf) April 23, 2021
A recent poll from the Heritage Foundation found voters in battleground states have the following views on President Joe Biden’s border crisis:
- 64% of battleground voters reject Biden ending construction on the border wall.
- 73% of battleground voters recognize the rampant abuse of the asylum system driving the crisis and believe fraudulent asylum-seekers should be deported and prevented from re-applying, and 67% agree with President Trump’s remain-in-Mexico policy for asylum-seekers.
- 70% of battleground voters recognize the skyrocketing cost of the border crisis and agree that illegal immigrants are costing taxpayers billions of dollars, which we simply cannot afford.
- 56% of battleground voters recognize that President Biden caused the crisis when he issued executive orders eliminating a number of tough Trump policies with regard to illegal immigration.
“Americans are overwhelmingly rejecting Biden’s open-borders agenda,” Heritage Action Executive Director Jessica Anderson said. “Voters in congressional battlegrounds and suburban areas are very concerned with the effects of illegal immigration on America’s social services, taxpayer burden, and public safety. These Americans know what the administration refuses to admit: our border is in crisis, and Biden’s weak policies are to blame.”