The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Friday that fines for illegal immigrants who fail to leave the United States would cease, according to a DHS press release.
At the direction of Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rescinded two delegation orders relating to financial penalties. The fines, which were first put in place in 2018 by the Trump administration, collected “civil financial penalties for noncitizens who fail[ed] to depart the U.S,” according to the press release.
ICE Delegation No. 006-2020, “Delegation of Authority to Administer Certain Provisions Relating to Civil Penalties for Failure to Depart,” was deemed as counterintuitive “to the agency’s best interests.”
“There is no indication that these penalties promoted compliance with noncitizens’ departure obligations,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “We can enforce our immigration laws without resorting to ineffective and unnecessary punitive measures.”
Mayorkas and Acting ICE Director Tae Johnson agreed the fines were “not effective” and “had not meaningfully advanced the interests of the agency.”
The DHS press release also stated that ICE would work with the Department of Treasury to cancel the existing debts of those who had been fined.
“The rescission marks ICE’s latest move toward focusing its limited resources on those posing the greatest risk to national security and public safety in accordance with the current guidance on civil immigration enforcement and removal priorities,” the statement concluded.