- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Homeland Security proposed a new rule Tuesday to stop illegal immigrants from being able to get work permits while they’re awaiting deportation, saying that it makes no sense to allow them to hold jobs even as the government is trying to remove them.

Tens of thousands of such permits are issued each year, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency within Homeland Security that issued the work permits.

USCIS said it’s created a perverse incentive where some illegal immigrants will refuse to cooperate in their deportations, since they can work and support themselves here.

“The continued presence in the United States of aliens with final orders of removal, many of whom are criminals who have served time in our federal, state, and local jails and who have been determined in immigration proceedings to be ineligible to remain in the country, is contrary to the national interest,” USCIS said in the proposal.

Deporting someone requires U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to have travel documents, which often times means verifying identities with a deportee’s home country. Some migrants have refused to cooperate in that process, delaying their deportation.

In one prominent case in Connecticut, a migrant who refused to cooperate was released by ICE, then killed a young woman.

Rosemary Jenks, vice president at NumbersUSA, which advocates for stricter immigration limits, said stopping work permits for this group of migrants should have been done years ago.

“It is absolutely absurd that we would issue a work permit to an alien that has been found by a judge to be removable,” she said. “Every one of these people is competing for a job with American workers and legal immigrants.”

The new rule is at the proposal stage, and will be published later this month in the Federal Register. There will then be a 30-day comment period, after which USCIS must go through the comments to finalize the rule.

Whether that can be done before the end of this administration is highly doubtful, and a Biden administration could scuttle the effort.

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