The following is a summary of the new ICE memo issued on February 18, 2021, relating to ICE’s detention and deportation priorities under President Biden. These policies are effective immediately for the next 90 days, and can impact current cases already in detention and/or Immigration Court. It basically reverts to pre-Trump enforcement policies.
What actions/cases are affected?
The good news—lower risks and dangers for peaceful people
For most “regular” people who otherwise have a clean record and are good citizens, ICE cannot go after them unless there is pre-approval in writing. This means no random stops due to race or suspicions of “illegal” status. Also, even if one person is targeted for an ICE raid, officers cannot also arrest the other members they may find in a household or building. Finally, ICE must maintain a record of requests and their responses for “prosecutorial discretion,” which means requests for exercising leniency and forgiveness-- this results in accountability to answer.
Priorities of enforcement: terrorists, certain criminals, and recent unlawful entries
As stated, most people are no longer subject to random arrest, detention and deportation/removal. But the following people who meet these descriptions will still be pursued by ICE:
Compelling reasons for removal of certain vulnerable people
ICE must show compelling reasons and get approval from their Field Office Director before removing/deporting the following vulnerable people:
ICE is reviewing its cases
ICE has been ordered to review detentions and deportation/removal cases to see if they should continue. This could result in people being released, or in cases being put on hold or even dismissed in Immigration Court.
What you should do now
Consult with a competent immigration attorney who is familiar with detention and removal cases—it may be possible to request release, postponement or termination of such a case. Hill & Piibe commonly handles detention/removal cases and can answer your questions about your own options, or those of your family and friends. If you or someone you know are arrested, detained or in removal proceedings, our litigation attorneys can assist you.
© 2021 Hill & Piibe, Immigration Attorneys