DHS Secretary Kelly has issued an order that emphasizes enforcement and increases resources for enforcement. The new order, prioritizes removing not only those undocumented immigrants who are charged with a crime or in jails, but also the removal of undocumented immigrants who have “abused” public benefits, misrepresented themselves or “in the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.” Additionally, DHS will hire 10,000 new immigration officers and potential reversal of a number of Obama administration policies. Under this and previous orders, virtually every agricultural worker who is working under false documents is probably “removable” and the language relative to employers is not encouraging. The language in the order suggests more and faster deportation of those caught up in audits. With the planned addition of more ICE agents and enforcement resources, instructions to DHS to use every opportunity to promote implementation of e-verify, and reference to use of all the I-9 powers of ICE “to assess and collect all fees and penalties” including from those who facilitate their unlawful presence in the US— we expect to see increased emphasis on workplace I-9 audits and penalties. We (NCAE and other agricultural organizations) are even more concerned about the stability of the ag workforce in light of these orders.
Orders from DHS (2):
DHS Overview of Executive Order on Interior Enforcement of Immigration Laws (Issued 1/25/17): 2017 DHS Overview of Trump Executive Order on Interior Enforcement of Immigration Laws
Executive Order issues 1/25/17: Executive Order on Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the U.S.