Leftists blasted the Biden administration for its new guidance on deportations, calling it a “disappointing step backwards.”
President Joe Biden signed an executive order during his first week in office suspending all deportations for the first 100 days of his presidency, but a federal judge in Texas blocked his executive order with a temporary restraining order last month.
As a result, Biden’s administration sent new guidance to Immigration and Customs Enforcement telling the agency to narrow the scope of convictions that would allow for deportations while it writes new, long-term guidance.
Immigration officials can now deport individuals deemed a public safety threat, or for persons considered a terrorism or espionage threat.
ICE is also allowed to deport anyone who entered the U.S. illegally after Nov. 1, according to the new guidance.
“By focusing our limited resources on cases that present threats to national security, border security, and public safety, our agency will more ably and effectively execute its law enforcement mission,” said ICE Acting Director Tae Johnson.
The American Civil Liberties Union slammed the Biden administration and accused Biden of breaking his promise to immigration advocates.
“The memo is a disappointing step backward from the Biden administration’s earlier commitments to fully break from the harmful deportation policies of both the Trump and Obama presidencies,” ACLU attorney Naureen Shah said in a statement.
“While the Biden administration rightly acknowledges that immigrants are our family members, our coworkers, and our neighbors, for now it has chosen to continue giving ICE officers significant discretion to conduct operations that harm our communities and tear families apart,” Shah continued.
Biden’s long-term guidance will likely be much more lenient. He has already unveiled legislation that would provide amnesty to the more than 11 illegal immigrants in the U.S., and grant legal protections to DREAMers, or immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.