Under current law, some individuals who have received an order of removal from an immigration judge are not actually able to be removed. In some cases, no country will accept the person and in other cases the US Government declines to actually remove them. Some people are given “orders of supervision” during the period of time that they live in the US, which typically requires frequent appointments with ICE or other types of monitoring.
A person with an order of removal and an order of supervision has been able to apply for a work permit. This makes sense, because those people are not in fact going to be removed from the US and there should not be a policy of forcing them into poverty, homelessness, or unauthorized employment. Now, the Trump administration has released a 120 page proposed rule to restrict this relatively small population of individuals from getting work permits. The proposed regulation shows that the annual number of work permit applications for these individuals has never exceeded 27,000 in any fiscal year between 2010 and 2019.
Additionally, the proposed rule does not entirely eliminate the work permits anyway. It creates a carve-out for those individuals who cannot be removed because DHS has received a rejection from all countries from which it has requested travel documentation. It’s not clear what percentage of the current applicants will be restricted under the new regulations. However, it is clear that the new rule is quite complicated and will only add unnecessary levels of bureaucracy to a work permit category that only allows very limited employment to begin with.