Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04) introduced the “Americans Not Aliens Act” Friday, which would prevent the Department of Homeland Security from issuing work permits to migrants with deportation orders. These are generally illegal immigrants who have received hearings before an immigration judge who has declined to give them asylum, instead ordering their removal.
“Providing work permits to aliens who have been ordered removed from the United States is the very definition of insanity,” Gosar said in a statement. “At a time when American citizens are struggling to find jobs, my legislation removes the incentives for aliens to ignore the rule of law and not return to their country of origin.” Under the current system, they can easily find jobs in America, which they may not be able to find in their home countries.
Last year, former President Donald Trump proposed a rule change to stop this. But the Biden administration announced on May 10 in a statement signed by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that the agency was withdrawing the proposal. In it, Mayorkas cited comments from 15 attorneys general who opposed the rule because it would “decrease tax revenue, deny states various revenue streams, and increase costs related to state-funded public benefit.”
Mayorkas also said there would be “exorbitant costs and burdens on U.S. employers related to labor turnover” as well as anticipated “tax revenues” at the state and federal levels. However, unemployment of Americans remains high, at 5.4 percent. That is higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Mayorkas went on, “DHS’s inability to remove them primarily stems not from inaction on the individual’s part but due to the unwillingness of foreign governments to issue them travel documents and cooperate in their repatriation.”
Jessica Vaughan from the Center for Immigration said this is because “These are often criminals who can’t be deported because their home country refuses to take them back.”
Vaughan warned, “We can expect the Biden administration to use the work permit authority to the maximum extent possible, because it’s a de facto amnesty that is easier than trying to get an amnesty bill through Congress.”
Mayorkas brought up COVID-19 as another reason for withdrawing the proposed rule: “[T]he limited resources of the agency and the significant operational challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic do not allow DHS to respond to all immigration violations or remove all individuals with a final order of removal.”
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) disagrees with Mayorkas’s attitude about COVID-19, saying if DHS is so concerned about COVID-19, then the agency should be removing the illegal immigrants, many of who have COVID-19.
“Under his direction, DHS is systematically releasing COVID-19 positive aliens into our communities, subjecting the American people to unnecessary and avoidable risks,” Biggs said as he filed articles of impeachment against Mayorkas over his immigration policies. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey called on Mayorkas to resign over his handling of the border and immigration.
Co-sponsors of Gosar’s bill include Biggs, Brian Babin (R-TX-36), Jeff Duncan (R-SC-03), Matt Gaetz (R-FL-01), Louie Gohmert (R-TX-01), Matt Rosendale (R-MT).
Since entering office, Biden has rescinded multiple Trump-era immigration rules, including building the border wall and the “remain in Mexico” policy. A majority of Americans disagree with the way Biden is handling immigration at the border, according to a June 30 Washington Post/ABC News poll.
– – –