Biden to pause deportations for certain noncitizens in the United States for 100 days

By bartlett-weigle | 01/22/21

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will pause some deportations for 100 days, “to ensure that we have a fair and effective immigration control system focused on protecting national security, border security and public safety,” according to a memorandum issued Wednesday night.

The memorandum indicates that it will apply as of Friday January 22, 2021 to “certain non-citizens” , but it excludes people who arrived in the United States after November 1, 2020 and those who are suspected of terrorism or espionage or represent a danger to national security. Immigrants with a minimum criminal record and proven good behavior should not be deported during the mentioned 100 days.

As this memo states, “Due to limited resources, DHS cannot respond to all immigration violations or remove all persons unlawfully in the United States. Rather, DHS must implement civil immigration enforcement based on sensible priorities and changing circumstances.”

During this 100-day pause, the enforcement priorities, or those people who will be subject to deportation, would include:

  1. National security. This would include people who have engaged in terrorism, espionage, or pose a threat to the national security of the U.S.
  2. Border security. This includes individuals apprehended at the border or ports of entry while attempting to unlawfully enter the U.S. on or after November 1, 2020.
  3. Public safety. This includes people who were convicted to “aggravated felonies” as defined under our immigration laws.
  4. Those who voluntarily waive rights to remain in the U.S.

The Biden administration is also reviewing the way DHS enforces immigration laws by hopefully bringing back prosecutorial discretion which existed during Obama and focused on deporting primarily dangerous people, those with serious criminal records as well as those with a history of immigration violations.

Therefore, if you in deportation, removal proceedings or if you already been ordered removed, this could be great news for you.  Please contact one of our lawyers to discus your case and options in more detail.

Here is the full memorandum:

Review of and Interim Revision to Civil Immigration Enforcement and Removal Policies and Priorities

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