Biden suspends rules limiting immigrant arrest, deportation

Jun 27, 2022, 5:04 PM | Updated: 5:50 pm
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents gather before a raid to arrest immigrants considere...

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents gather before a raid to arrest immigrants considered a threat to public safety and national security during an early morning raid in Compton, Calif., Monday, June 6, 2022. This weekend, the Biden administration said it would suspend an order prioritizing the arrest and deportation of immigrants considered a threat to public safety and national security in order to comply with a ruling earlier in June 2022 from a Texas judge. Many otherwise law-abiding immigrants living here illegally will now be afraid to leave their homes out of concern they'll be detained. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

BOSTON (AP) — The Biden administration, reacting to a federal court ruling in Texas, has suspended an order that had focused resources for the arrest and deportation of immigrants on those who are considered a threat to public safety and national security.

The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement Saturday it will abide by the decision issued this month, even though it “strongly disagrees” and is appealing it.

Immigrant advocates and experts on Monday said the suspension of Biden’s order will only sow fear among immigrant communities.

Many living in the country illegally will now be afraid to leave their homes out of concern they’ll be detained, even if they’re otherwise law-abiding, said Steve Yale-Loehr, an immigration law professor at Cornell University.

Prioritizing whom to arrest and deport is a necessity, he said. “We simply don’t have enough ICE agents to pick up and put into proceedings everyone who violates our immigration law,” Yale-Loehr said.

The Texas case centers around a memorandum Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, issued last September, directing immigration agencies to focus their enforcement efforts on those who represented a threat to national security or public safety or who recently entered the U.S. illegally.

The approach was a departure from President Donald Trump’s administration, when immigration agencies were given wide latitude on whom to arrest, detain and deport, prompting many immigrants without legal status to upend their daily routines to evade detection, such as avoiding driving or even taking sanctuary in churches and other places generally off limits to immigration authorities.

But on June 10, U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton in southern Texas voided Mayorkas’ memo, siding with Republican state officials in Texas and Louisiana who argued the Biden administration did not have the authority to issue such a directive.

In response, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers will make enforcement decisions on “a case-by-case basis in a professional and responsible manner, informed by their experience as law enforcement officials and in a way that best protects against the greatest threats to the homeland,” the Department of Homeland Security said in its statement Saturday.

How the court ruling plays out in cities and towns across the country remains to be seen, advocates say.

Sarang Sekhavat, political director at the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, the largest such group in New England, said the outcome likely rests on the approach taken by local ICE field offices.

Some ICE offices may elect to go after a wider range of immigrants, while others will continue to focus on going after ones that pose the greatest threats, he said.

“This takes away any kind of centralized guidance,” Sekhavat said. “What this does is really leave it in the hands of the local field office and how they want to go about enforcement.”

Nationwide, ICE officials arrested more than 74,000 immigrants and removed more than 59,000 in the fiscal year that ended in September, according to the agency’s most recent annual report. That’s down from the nearly 104,000 arrests and 186,000 deportations the prior fiscal year, according to ICE data.

ICE spokespersons in Washington and the Boston field office, which covers the six-state New England region, declined to comment Monday, as did officials in ICE’s Los Angeles field office.

But in a June interview with The Associated Press conducted before the Texas court ruling, Thomas Giles, head of ICE’s LA office, said nine out of 10 immigration arrests locally involve people convicted of crimes.

He said the Biden administration’s priorities didn’t bring a huge change for the region because officers were already focused on people with felony criminal convictions or prior deportations.

It required them to weigh aggravating and mitigating factors and make more detailed evaluations on cases, he said, but the focus remained constant.

“We’re out here enhancing public safety,” Giles said.

___

Associated Press reporter Amy Taxin in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Jerzy Urban, spokesman for Polish communist govt, dies at 89

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Jerzy Urban, a spokesman for Poland’s communist-era government in the 1980s who masterminded state propaganda and censorship for a regime in the final years before its collapse, has died. He was 89. His death was announced on Monday by a satirical weekly magazine, Nie (No), which he founded and led in […]
4 hours ago
A shadow is cast on the stage of the Trafo House of Contemporary Arts while technicians set up the ...
Associated Press

Music stops: Energy costs close Hungary theaters for winter

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — A theater in Hungary’s capital will sit through a cold and quiet winter after its managers chose to shut it down rather than pay skyrocketing utility prices that are putting a squeeze on businesses and cultural institutions across Europe. The 111-year-old Erkel Theatre in Budapest, one of three performance spaces of […]
4 hours ago
In this photo provided by the Armed Forces of Denmark, a view the disturbance in the water above th...
Associated Press

Sweden sends special diving vessel to area of pipeline leaks

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Sweden has sent a vessel capable of “advanced diving missions” to the Baltic Sea area where ruptured undersea pipelines leaked natural gas for days, the Swedish navy said Monday. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday accused the West of sabotaging Russia-built natural gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea to Germany, a […]
4 hours ago
In this picture released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supre...
Associated Press

Iran’s supreme leader breaks silence on protests, blames US

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei responded publicly on Monday to the biggest protests in Iran in years, breaking weeks of silence to condemn what he called “rioting” and accuse the U.S. and Israel of planning the protests. Khamenei said he was “heartbroken” by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa […]
4 hours ago
Columbus Blue Jackets' Johnny Gaudreau, right, looks for an open pass against the Pittsburgh Pengui...
Associated Press

Gaudreau to Columbus tops busy summer of NHL player movement

Johnny Hockey moved East, though not as far as everyone thought. The champs out West couldn’t keep the entire band together. And two teams with lengthy playoff droughts made some moves hoping to change that. Johnny Gaudreau joining Columbus headlined a busy offseason of player movement around the NHL. Darcy Kuemper left Colorado for Washington […]
4 hours ago
Britain's Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, front, arrives in Downing Street in London, Wednesday, Sep...
Associated Press

UK and allies meet to discuss pipeline security after blasts

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — The Joint Expeditionary Force group of northern European nations will meet Monday to discuss the safety of undersea pipelines and cables after blasts ruptured two natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said. Wallace said the virtual meeting has been called by the U.K. and the […]
4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Biden suspends rules limiting immigrant arrest, deportation