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Even though Biden’s inauguration is less than two weeks away, President Trump is finding a variety of ways to make the transition difficult, especially when it comes to immigration matters. For example, recently departed acting ICE leader Tony Pham issued a policy directive that would hurt migrant children’s chances of winning asylum. A Dec. 29 memo from Pham told ICE officials they must review if a child is still “unaccompanied” every time they encounter that minor. These changes could cause some children to be ineligible to have their asylum claims heard and processed by an asylum officer at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. BuzzFeed News
In other federal immigration news…
Mayorkas Faces Dual Allegiances As He Takes Top DHS Spot
Pro-immigration advocates and lawmakers expect Biden’s Department of Homeland Security to overturn Trump’s immigration policies. Some progressives go so far as wanting Biden to abolish ICE. But those demands may run into trouble as Biden’s DHS nominee Alejandro Mayorkas also seeks to keep the support of law enforcement. The Fraternal Order of Police, which endorsed Trump over Biden, called Mayorkas an “outstanding choice” to lead DHS. Biden has promised to reduce deportation, close detention centers and to stop separating migrant children from their parents. Bloomberg Government
CISA Denies DHS Request For Private Companies’ Information
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency denied requests from senior DHS officials to share private companies’ confidential information, according to two people familiar with the situation. DHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Alexei Woltornist made the requests, raising concerns about the agency’s abilities to protect its partners’ information. Woltornist wanted CISA to provide DHS with information that businesses shared with the agency so CISA could continue uncovering a massive hacking operation that hit many aspects of the government. A CISA spokesperson said the agency often shares information with DHS, but did not address the current situation. Politico