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Rep. Chu Praises New Immigration Enforcement Guidelines, Including Protections for Immigrant Workers

September 30, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC - Today, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced new guidelines regarding the Biden Administration’s immigration enforcement priorities. The new priorities state that just being a “removable noncitizen” is no longer sufficient basis for deportation action. It also restores prosecutorial discretion for an individual’s immigration case, and includes new mitigating factors such as one’s age, length of stay, and impact of removal on one’s family. In addition, the guidelines also include provisions modeled after the POWER Act, a bill previously introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) that prohibits the use of immigration enforcement authority as retaliation against a noncitizen worker for asserting their legal rights. This means that workers who speak up to report unsafe working conditions or abuses from an unscrupulous employer cannot be threated with deportation. Rep. Chu issued the following statement:

“I am so thrilled to see compassion and common sense return to our immigration priorities! Instead of treating all immigrants as threats, tearing apart families and leaving ICE and other agencies overstretched, this new guidance recognizes that immigrants are humans, many with families here, and the ability to make great contributions to our nation. Our efforts are better spent fixing our broken immigration system rather than terrorizing undocumented communities. This is the right move for these immigrants, their loved ones, and their communities and local economies that depend on them. Additionally, I am so happy to see that provisions from my legislation, the POWER Act have been included. I have introduced the POWER Act for years because undocumented workers are often subject to abuse from employers who know that they can use threats of deportation to keep their employees from reporting unsafe working conditions or other illegal mistreatment. But now, with these new orders, we are standing on the side of workers- no matter where they were born - and ensuring ones status is not an excuse to allow mistreatment. I applaud the Biden Administration for these humane reforms to make our immigration system work for our country.”