Immigration law, like any other, is a balance of public interests: the regulations are designed not only to protect U.S. workers from job displacement, but also to protect foreign workers from being exploited or abused.
The recent ICE raids in Nevada, Nebraska, and Minnesota and other recent immigration enforcement actions show that the system is falling out of balance. The current administration has engaged in an unnecessary policy shift that has increased the difficulty of legal immigration as well as the enforcement and punishment of illegal immigration. Though ostensibly done for the protection of U.S. workers, the new attitude towards immigration has resulted in an environment that encourages the unjust treatment and trafficking of migrant workers. This “perfect storm” is the combination of (1) a U.S. worker shortage that makes employers desperate for laborers, and (2) immigrants desperate for work who are afraid of immigration officials because of the uptick in harsh enforcement.