The Biden administration seems to fully support unlawful hiring practices and all of the criminal activity that comes along with the hiring of illegal aliens. The first, and most blatant, act in support of this criminal activity was DHS Secretary Mayorkas’s memorandum directing ICE to “cease mass worksite operations”, which gutted the ICE worksite enforcement effort. One result has been an explosion of child labor at worksites across the country. The Biden administration has done nothing to change their immigration enforcement policies, allowing worksite exploitation to continue to grow.
As part of its pro-unlawful-hiring agenda, in November 2022 the Biden administration removed from its website a list of employers participating in a worker-verification program run by ICE — the ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (IMAGE) program — without explanation. The Center for Immigration Studies saved a copy of the list of these employers, and published it here. Launched in July 2006, the IMAGE program is designed “to combat unlawful employment and reduce vulnerabilities that help undocumented noncitizens gain such employment”, as explained on ICE.gov. ICE further explains that enrollment in IMAGE “assists employers to develop a more secure and stable workforce” and “enhances fraudulent document awareness through education and training”.
Employers who enroll in the program receive training from ICE and USCIS on hiring procedures, including how to detect fraudulent documents, how to use E-Verify, and how to avoid discrimination in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Well, the Biden administration has edited the IMAGE webpage yet again, this time to eliminate any discussion of the hiring of illegal aliens. Here’s the language from the webpage until today:
Undocumented noncitizens secure jobs through fraudulent means such as presenting false documents, completing fraudulent benefit applications and stealing someone’s identity. To combat unlawful employment and reduce vulnerabilities that help undocumented noncitizens gain such employment, ICE announced the Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (IMAGE) program in July 2006. This program assists employers to develop a more secure and stable workforce. It also enhances fraudulent document awareness through education and training.
The Biden administration had already edited that language to change “illegal aliens” to “undocumented noncitizens” but apparently that wasn’t enough. So they edited it again and removed that entire paragraph. Now, any reference to illegal aliens committing fraud and theft has been eliminated. In its place, the Biden administration has added this milquetoast language:
IMAGE is a Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers that provides employers with solutions to hiring process challenges through outreach and education with the goal of fostering workforce integrity and compliance with the law.
We’ve gone from stopping the employment of illegal aliens and the resulting criminality and victimization to providing “solutions to hiring process challenges”, a nearly meaningless mix of words. This is part of the Biden administration’s effort to eliminate any acknowledgement of illegal aliens engaging in crimes against the American people. To the Biden administration, illegal aliens can do no wrong. It’s consistent with the administration’s decision to hold zero ICE press events announcing arrests of criminal aliens, and the administration’s opposition to immigration enforcement, generally.
Americans are being victimized by the Biden administration’s anti-enforcement agenda, and there’s no end in sight. Businesses trying to follow federal law will be at a disadvantage to those businesses exploiting unlawful labor. ICE’s new acting director, Patrick Lechleitner, is a career official who comes from the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) side of ICE where worksite enforcement is located. He would be wise to promote the importance of worksite investigations when talking with DHS and White House officials because the criminality that has been unleashed will continue to damage HSI and ICE the longer it is ignored.