Biden administration drops plan for ICE deportation pause after legal defeat

Biden administration drops plan for ICE deportation pause after legal defeat

May 21, 2021

Deportations plunge under President Biden

Former Chief of U.S. Border Patrol Ron Vitiello argues the shift in enforcement at the border only benefits ‘criminal cartels.’

The Biden administration has dropped its effort to impose a 100-day moratorium on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportations after a legal effort from Texas blocked the Biden campaign promise from taking place — with the administration saying the time for it to go into effect has now passed.

Then-candidate Joe Biden had promised to pause deportations, with very few exceptions, during the 2020 campaign. On Inauguration Day, then-acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske signed a memo that included such a pause to go into effect Jan 22.

It is unlikely, however, to stop the legal battle over ICE policies. The administration went on to issue ICE guidance that dramatically narrows enforcement priorities to recent border crossers, “aggravated felons” and national security threats — guidance that has coincided with a dramatic drop in ICE arrests and deportations.

Republican states such as Arizona and Montana have sued over the new guidance, arguing that it is an effort to achieve the same results as the 100-day deportation moratorium and that it would lead to an increase in criminals, drugs and COVID-19 in their states and is in violation of federal law. They also claim it would lead to an increase in healthcare and other public assistance costs in the states.

As part of that lawsuit, an email emerged showing that ICE officials predicted that the number of “book-ins” would drop by 50%.

In its statement, DHS said that the guidance “has allowed ICE to focus on furthering the security and safety of our communities.” 

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