U.S. Issues New Guidelines on Immigration Arrests, Deportations

The secretary of the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday has issued new guidelines for authorities about who is to be prioritized for immigration enforcement, following Biden’s interim guidance.

The new guidelines directed authorities to prioritize individuals who posed a threat to national security, public safety, or border security.

The new guidelines replaced the more aggressive approach taken under the Trump administration which apprehended anyone who was in the country illegally and returned to the Obama-era immigration enforcement measures based on a priority system.

The new guidelines would consider a variety of “mitigating factors” that describe situations where arresting and removing someone might be deferred which include elderly people, young people, victims of crimes, or those who have been in the U.S. for a “lengthy” amount of time.

The new guidelines also established “aggravating factors” that might prompt federal authorities to make an arrest.

The memo for the guidelines came after the Biden administration has been under fire in recent weeks from both sides for its handling of the border as thousands of Haitian migrants gathered in Del Rio, Texas.

“No matter where you are born, everyone deserves to be safe from detention and deportation, including people who have recently arrived in the United States seeking safety and protection and those who have had contact with the criminal legal system,” said Stacy Suh of the Detention Watch Network, an organization advocating the abolishment of immigration detention centers.

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