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AILA Doc. No. 21020132 | Dated February 1, 2021
This alert provides a brief summary of President Biden’s Executive Order on the Revision of Civil Immigration Enforcement Policies and Priorities and Acting DHS Secretary David Pekoske’s January 20, 2021, memorandum entitled Review of and Interim Revision to Civil Immigration Enforcement and Removal Policies and Priorities.
President Biden’s Executive Order revokes the 2017 Executive Order, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior. Thereafter, the Pekoske Memorandum rescinded and superseded all related prior memos issued by DHS and component agencies (ICE, USCIS, and CBP) that implemented the 2017 Executive Order, and created interim enforcement policies, effective February 1, 2021. The enforcement focus included the following:
The application of the enforcement policies and priorities would include instances in which DHS must make a decision on the following:
All enforcement and detention decisions must be guided by DHS’ ability to conduct operations and maintain custody consistent with applicable COVID-19 protocols. However, the memo also does not prevent the apprehension or detention of individuals who are not identified as priorities and may be suspected of being deportable.
The Administration placed a moratorium on nearly all removals for 100 days, effective no later than January 22, 2021. However, on January 22, Texas sued the U.S. government to stop the January 20 memorandum from taking effect, and on January 26, a judge then issued a temporary restraining order against the moratorium. As such, there is no pause on deportations at this time. The TRO is in effect for 14 days. Therefore, please be aware that briefing, a hearing, and/or new action will occur in the coming days on this matter.
The 100-day pause included the following limited exceptions:
The memorandum required that the Acting ICE Director issue written instructions with additional operational guidance by February 1, 2021. This forthcoming guidance will include the following:
The memo requires components agencies, ICE, USCIS, and CBP, to conduct review of immigration enforcement priorities during the 100-day period and issue revised policies no later than April 30, 2021.
*Special thanks to Sui Chung, Chair, EOIR/ICE Joint Liaison Committee, and the EOIR/ICE Joint Liaison Committee.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 21020132.
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