On May 10, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) withdrew a proposed rule published on November 19, 2020, that would have revised DHS regulations to eliminate work authorization for individuals who have final orders of removal and are released from DHS custody on an order of supervision, with a narrow exception.

DHS noted that it received more than 302 comments in response to the proposed rule, nearly 98 percent of which were in opposition. Commenters who opposed the rule argued that it “would significantly limit the ability of individuals who have a final order of removal and are released on an order of supervision to legally work, be self-sufficient, and support their families, which may include U.S. citizen children and lawful permanent resident spouses or partners. Several commenters also noted the proposed rule would impose exorbitant costs and burdens on U.S. employers related to labor turnover and the proposed E-Verify requirement,” DHS said. Also, various state and local agencies, including Attorneys General from 15 states, opposed the rule on the basis that “it would decrease tax revenue, deny states various revenue streams, and increase costs related to state-funded public benefit programs.” Many commenters also disagreed with the proposed rule’s assertion that the proposed changes would incentivize individuals with final orders of removal to leave the United States.

DHS said it decided to withdraw the proposed rule because the original bases and rationale “no longer align with the [Biden administration’s] immigration enforcement priorities.” Withdrawing the proposed rule, DHS said, will allow covered individuals “to continue to work for American businesses that provide services in key industries and to supplement the existing U.S. workforce.”

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