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US returns to targeted immigration enforcement under Biden

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Immigration enforcement in WASHINGTON in the United States is said to be more targeted under President Joe Biden than under his predecessor, with authorities urged to focus on people in the country illegally who pose a threat, according to guidelines released Thursday .

The guidelines set a new path for immigration and customs enforcement in the United States, which has drawn strong criticism under President Donald Trump for illegally arresting and deporting anyone in the country, regardless of their criminal background or its links with the community.

Under Biden, ICE would primarily apprehend and remove people who pose a threat to national security, who have committed crimes characterized as aggravated crimes, or who have recently crossed the border.

It’s the latest break with Trump’s immigration policies, but it’s also a far cry from the notion of abolishing the ICE that has become a rallying cry among some progressives angered by what they saw as an application. blinded.

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Trump, whose administration has taken hundreds of steps to restrict both legal and illegal immigration, early on ordered ICE to apprehend anyone illegally in the country. In June 2019, he tweeted that next week ICE would begin the process of eliminating the millions of illegal aliens who have illegally found themselves in the United States.

It never happened. The total number of evictions was higher under President Barack Obama’s first term, who also made national security and public safety an enforcement priority, than under Trump in part because so many cities and states, opposed to his administration’s approach to immigration, were reluctant to cooperate with ICE on moves.

The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the ICE, described the new guidelines, which are considered temporary until a permanent policy is adopted in about three months, as a more efficient use of resources in an agency which has approximately 20,000 law enforcement and support officers.

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By focusing our limited resources on cases that present threats to national security, border security and public safety, our agency will more effectively and efficiently carry out its law enforcement mission, said the Acting Director of ICE, Tae Johnson, announcing the new guidelines. Like any law enforcement agency at the local, state, and federal levels, we must prioritize our efforts to achieve the greatest impact on safety and security. ”

ICE officers and agents have expressed concern in recent days over a top-down directive that would limit their ability to conduct law enforcement operations and inevitably result in potentially dangerous people escaping them, Jon said. Feere, senior ICE adviser under Trump.

Feere noted, for example, that construction site law enforcement operations, which took place more frequently under Trump, typically result in charges such as identity theft or fraud. These would not be considered aggravated crimes, but can nonetheless be worthwhile crimes to prosecute as part of efforts to break down smuggling networks and traffickers.

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Not allowing ICE to discharge its responsibilities as it currently does is a de facto dismantling of the agency, he said. And what is the political justification? Who wins from all this? The smugglers? The traffickers?

The new guidelines could protect a substantial number of people. The non-partisan Migration Policy Institute estimated that 87% of the country’s non-citizens without permission would not be prioritized for law enforcement if Biden used the criteria of national security and public safety as was done under Obama.

In defending the new guidelines, DHS officials stressed that they do not specifically exempt anyone from being arrested and deported from the United States if they are in the country illegally.

But they established a series of removal priorities, and officers and officers would be required to obtain approval to prosecute cases that do not fall into the three main categories. In addition, weekly arrest reports are said to be submitted to DHS secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who has repeatedly said he wants to fix what he sees as a flawed US immigration system.

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The national security category includes anyone suspected of involvement in terrorism or espionage. The border security category covers anyone apprehended along the border or at the point of entry or who entered the United States after November 1. The public safety category applies to anyone convicted of a felony involving active participation in a gang or convicted of an aggravated felony. .

There is a wide range of aggravated crimes that apply to non-citizens, as stated by Congress. They include violent offenses and drug trafficking, but in the past they have also been defined more broadly for non-citizens facing deportation. The new guidelines ask officers and officers to take into account the seriousness of the criminal conviction as well as the time elapsed since.

The ICE would otherwise have a wide margin of maneuver to let a non-citizen stay in the country, with officers having to take into account factors such as ties to the community as well as personal and family circumstances and state of health. The rules, for example, call for special attention in the case of non-citizens who are elderly or suffering from serious physical or mental illness.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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