Democrats urge president to end deportation policy
Congressional Democrats are pressing President Biden to end the use of a policy whereby immigrants apprehended at the US southern border can be quickly returned to Mexico or their home countries without being allowed to apply for asylum when they are apprehended by Border Patrol agents. The Biden administration said the policy, which was frequently used by the Trump administration, was deemed necessary, in line with CDC guidelines, to minimize the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks inside border detention centres. Among those pushing to end the policy are Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). Both claimed that the deportations are “not who we are as a nation”.
The issue has been complicated by two recent Federal Court decisions — both relating to the treatment of immigrant children — that appear to contradict each other. A Washington, DC, appeals court has issued an order barring US authorities from deporting families with children to countries where they face persecution. Meanwhile, a federal judge in Texas has ruled that the Biden administration cannot continue to exempt unaccompanied children from deportation.
Public attention to the issue, along with these court rulings, has pressured the CDC to reconsider its policy guidelines. The NM Immigration blog will continue to cover this story as it develops.
Total ICE halts arrests, focus on non-citizens with serious convictions
Arrests by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) significantly decreased over the past year as a result of a shift in enforcement priorities. The Biden administration has chosen to focus on apprehending and deporting undocumented immigrants who have committed serious crimes and reducing law enforcement efforts on others. In a recently released annual report, ICE said arrests of immigrants fell nearly 40% from the previous year, while the number of people apprehended who had committed offenses deemed serious under the Immigration Act (“Aggravated Crimes”) had nearly doubled. Additionally, ICE has limited enforcement actions in hospitals and schools, as well as other sites deemed “sensitive locations.”
ICE further reported that nearly half of immigrant arrests and deportations were of people with serious criminal convictions, including a 250% increase in sex offender arrests.
The United States Chamber of Commerce supports more legal immigration
the United States Chamber of Commerce noted in a statement that the only way to address America’s low employment rate is to improve the immigration system and make legal immigration easier. The statement was prompted by the recent report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”) revealing that there were 11.3 million job openings in the United States in January 2022. Executive Vice President and Director of House Policy Neil Bradley said that “there are 4, 75 million more jobs open today than there are people looking for work. One of the reasons for the shortfall is the decrease in legal immigration. It is high time for Congress to act to modernize our broken immigration system. »
Recently, the United States Chamber of Commerce joined a new coalition, the Alliance for a New Consensus on Immigration, made up of many groups representing multiple industries. The coalition is working to forge bipartisan legislative support for solutions that provide permanent legal protections and other reforms to many immigrants, including DACA recipients (“Dreamers”), those with Temporary Protected Status and agricultural workers.
©2022 Norris McLaughlin PA, All Rights ReservedNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 71