(USA Features) The Department of Homeland Security said Friday that fines levied against people who came illegally into the U.S. will be canceled and that fines levied against illegal immigrants during the Trump administration will be tossed out as well.
The announcement was made by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas who said they weren’t really having any effect on illegal immigration so there wasn’t any need to leave them in place.
“We can enforce our immigration laws without resorting to ineffective and unnecessary punitive measures,” he said in a statement, though he did not release any information about the fines that led him to think they weren’t effective.
Mayorkas added that DHS would work with the Treasury Department to cancel fines already incurred by illegal migrants, the Washington Times reported.
Getting rid of the fines is the latest policy implemented by the Biden administration to make life easier for migrants who have relatively clean criminal records with the exception of entering the U.S. illegally.
Immigration officials have had the authority to levy fines for decades. However, they had not been issued until the Trump administration began using them.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said at the time that the fines would be leveled against migrants who pledged to leave the country but did not do so as well as illegal immigrants who had been ordered out of the country but instead remained.
The agency issued very large fines totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.