In a statement on Tuesday, acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement director, Tom Homan declared ICE would be expanding their targeting of undocumented immigrants by going to their places of work. ICE will arrest, detain, and deport these immigrants found during these visits.
Under the Obama Administration, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the branch of ICE that performs investigations did worksite raids, going after the employers of undocumented immigrants, while focusing less on the immigrants themselves. According to 2015 Census data, on worksites, 541 individuals were arrested on immigration charges and 362 individuals on criminal charges in 2014, which continued the downward trend of worksite immigration arrests (CNN). The employers were targeted more heavily for their corrupt and criminal activity in the employment and exploitation of undocumented immigrants.
While ICE plans to continue going after these criminal employers, they also plan on quadrupling the amount of worksite visits, and arresting the undocumented immigrants found under the employment of these establishments, straying from the Obama Era policy.
Our Verdict: ICE’s plan to quadruple worksite visits adds another layer of uncertainty and confusion, as undocumented immigrants will have a higher chance of being arrested at their workplace, a place that was previously relatively protected. Worksites should be considered alongside churches and schools, as sensitive locations and Homan’s orders to increase these arrests is unacceptable.