The Biden administration has stopped fining illegal aliens who refuse to leave the United States — and is cancelling all previous incurred debts.
The Department of Homeland Security announced the changes on Friday.
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, in 2018, former President Donald Trump had required the government to issue fines of up to $500 per day to the aliens who refused to leave.
Breitbart News reports that in some cases, illegal aliens racked up fines of close to $500,000 for violating federal immigration law.
DHS had apparently stopped issuing the fines on January 20, but did not publicly announce it until this week. The department claimed that the policy is not effective in deterring illegal immigration.
“There is no indication that these penalties promoted compliance with noncitizens’ departure obligations,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. “We can enforce our immigration laws without resorting to ineffective and unnecessary punitive measures.”
The Treasury Department also announced the cancellation of debts for people who had already been fined.
“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,” the department said in a statement.
The Breitbart report noted that today, there are anywhere between 11 to 22 million illegal aliens living in the U.S., costing American taxpayers about $134 billion every year.