In a memo issued on Tuesday, Mayorkas ordered the immediate cease of mass worksite operations, declaring that the procedures go against new Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law.
"The deployment of mass worksite operations, sometimes resulting in the simultaneous arrest of hundreds of workers, was not focused on the most pernicious aspect of our country's unauthorized employment challenge: exploitative employers," the memo declares.
"These highly visible operations misallocated enforcement resources while chilling, and even serving as a tool of retaliation for, worker cooperation in workplace standards investigations," the memo went on.
"Moreover, such operations are inconsistent with the Department's September 30, 2021 Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law and the individualized assessment they require."
The memo states that they will "develop a Department-wide approach to worksite enforcement based upon our consideration of the plans and recommendations you present in response to this memorandum" in place of the previous operations and policies.
According to The Washington Post, mass arrest operations have essentially been practiced in the past against industries that employ large numbers of immigrants.
"Immigrant advocates and many Democrats who oppose the raids say they punish vulnerable workers, sow fear in immigrant communities and rarely result in consequences for employers," The Washington Post wrote.
As part of the memo, Mayorkas ordered a review of enforcement policies, giving immigration officials 60 days to come up with ways to defend undocumented immigrants who report on their employers from deportation.
On Sept. 30, Mayorkas published new guidance relating to which immigrants are considered priorities for arrest. Mayorkas ordered that ICE officers and immigration agents exercise their discretion in choosing what immigrants to arrest for deportation as part of that guidance.
New factors of officers to consider before arrest "include the harm suffered by the victim of the crime in question, the length of the immigrant's prison sentence, the sophistication of the crime and whether or not the immigrant used a gun," according to The Wall Street Journal.
Officers are further encouraged to weigh in factors like the immigrant's age, how long they have been in the United States, how long ago the crime was committed, and the impact deportation would have on close family members.
The new directions further prioritize immigrants who crossed into the US illegally after Nov. 1, 2020.