Biden Administration Orders ICE to Halt Worksite Arrests

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

This week, the Biden administration ordered an end to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids at worksites that often result in large-scale immigration arrests.  


The administration called for an end to the worksite raids as part of its efforts to create a new enforcement strategy to target employers that have exploitative labor practices and pay their employees substandard wages. In a memo, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called for a review of current enforcement policies and instructed immigration officials to create plans with new policies for protecting whistleblowers from immigration consequences after reporting employers engaged in the illegal practices noted above. Immigration officials have 60 days to present plans for complying with the order.  

Historically, ICE has targeted industries that employ large numbers of foreign workers in its largescale raids. The raids often lead to widespread arrests, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, and consequences such as removal (deportation) for undocumented workers. In his memo, Secretary Mayorkas wrote that the current practices punish vulnerable employees but rarely produce consequences for their employers. Now, the Department of Homeland Security intends to create harsher penalties for employers engaged in illegal conduct while making it easier for workers to reveal their employers’ exploitative practices. The memo also instructs DHS officials to strengthen the E-Verify system used to check a prospective employee’s legal status.  

Looking Ahead  

The new approach is designed to improve working conditions for foreign employees and hold their employers accountable for fair payment and labor practices. 


Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Ian Love, who is a Partner at Global Immigration Associates (GIA), one of the two independent U.S. law firms Envoy exclusively works with on the Envoy Platform (the "U.S. Law Firms").         

Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.