A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo issued on Thursday calls on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to avoid expelling individuals who have been in the United States for a long time and have no criminal record.
The guidelines, which go into effect on November 29, will also prevent farmworkers, the elderly and others who were vulnerable to deportation under the Trump administration from being arrested and deported.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, however, claimed that the Biden administration will continue to prioritize the arrest and deportation of immigrants who pose a threat to national security and public safety and those who recently crossed a border illegally into the United States.
Mayorkas issued the new instructions to immigration agents at a critical juncture for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, most of whom have lived here for years, and for the controversial federal agency in charge of enforcing the immigration laws.
This decision to apparently make deportations more flexible is in line with last Monday’s announcement to prevent those who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) from returning to their countries of origin.
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