According to a press release late last week, the Department of Homeland Security has stopped fining illegal aliens who have overstayed their visas and refuse to depart from the United States, after previously agreeing that they would depart during the initial process to acquire a visa.
Former President Trump began to enforce this long-standing facet of the Immigration and Nationality Act in 2018; before that, for more than 20 years, the Federal Government had not enforced fining visa overstayers despite the action’s codification within the INA.
According to Breitbart News, the Trump Administration began to fine aliens who overstayed their visas up to $500 per day they refused to depart from the U.S.
The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, said in the release that the Department had rescinded the enforcement of fines, arguing that it is not effective:
There is no indication that these penalties promoted compliance with noncitizens’ departure obligations. We can enforce our immigration laws without resorting to ineffective and unnecessary punitive measures.
In addition, Mayorkas revealed that DHS stopped issuing the fines on January 20 but had not announced the policy change until Friday. This, in conjunction with CBP’s border crisis gag-order and new news that ICE officers in the Biden Administration are instructed to censor reports when listing facts involving the incarceration of criminal aliens, seems to mark an interesting start for Biden’s DHS in the realm of openness and transparency.
Not only has the decision taken away the penalty for overstaying a visa, informing current visa holders that they too can now overstay their visas without financial worry; as an additional reward for illegal overstayers, Biden’s Treasury Department will work with those fined under the Trump Administration to cancel their federal debts.
A USTD news release states:
After reviewing detailed data regarding the issuance of such fines since 2018, it was clear to Secretary Mayorkas and Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Tae Johnson that the fines were not effective and had not meaningfully advanced the interests of the agency. ICE intends to work with the Department of Treasury to cancel the existing debts of those who had been fined.
For the complete story, please visit Breitbart News.
For the DHS press release, please click here.
Updated: Mon, Apr 26th 2021 @ 1:25pm EDT