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ICE Memo Spares Most Undocumented Immigrants from Arrest

Plus: Senate parliamentarian rules out Democrats' citizenship backup plan, and more than 4,600 Haitians were expelled in 2 weeks

Deanna Garcia

Oct 03, 2021

ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers knock on door in NYC. Photo: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

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The Biden administration on Thursday released new rules instructing U.S. immigration officials to focus on detaining and deporting immigrants who pose as a threat to national security or public safety, including migrants that recently crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ memo outlined a striking shift in U.S. immigration enforcement policy, indicating it will exempt most undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for years from arrest and deportation. Advocates and lawyers have long complained that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers don’t follow arrest restrictions. But Mayorkas said the department will implement new training, reports and reviews to improve this. CBS News

In other federal immigration news…

Parliamentarian Rules Out Democrats’ Immigration Back-Up Plan

After dismissing Democrats’ plans to include a pathway to citizenship in their reconciliation bill, the Senate parliamentarian dismissed the Democrats’ back-up plan as well. Democrats wanted to change the date by which undocumented immigrants had to apply to adjust their legal status, but the parliamentarian said that couldn’t be done. According to an analysis by FWD.us, changing the registry date to 2010 and allowing any migrants who’ve been in the country since that date to apply for residency, would make roughly 6.7 million people eligible for legal permanent residency in the U.S. The Hill 

4,600 Haitians Expelled Since Sept. 19

A DHS spokesperson said roughly 4,600 Haitians have been expelled from the U.S. and sent on 43 repatriation flights since Sept. 19. The flights came as DHS hurried to clear out a camp of largely Haitian migrants under the Del Rio International Bridge by last Friday. Some migrants were moved to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers, while several thousand were either released into the U.S. or flown back to Haiti. According to the Border Report, Panama’s Foreign Minister said there is another wave of 60,000 of people from Haiti and other countries approaching the southern border. CNN

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