Since President Joe Biden took office, there has been a significant decline in arrests and deportations of illegal immigrants by federal immigration authorities. The main reason behind the fall is the new administration’s focus on arresting individuals with serious criminal records.
According to statistics from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), arrests in March 2021 decreased by two-thirds in comparison to the end of the Trump administration – even when the rate of arrest has been slowed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been a 50-percent fall in deportations – with ICE’s detention population decreasing to 14,000 in March, compared to a record-high 56,000 in 2019.
During his campaign, President Biden proposed a 100-day pause on deportations as part of an attempt to overhaul ICE and reverse former President Trump’s immigration priorities. However, U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton – a Trump appointee – indefinitely banned the Biden administration’s deportation pause.
Despite the federal judge’s block, President Biden issued a new set of guidelines for ICE agents, who must now only target individuals who recently crossed the border illegally and were not detained by border control, as well as those who are considered a public safety or national security threat.
A public safety threat means someone who has been convicted of an aggravated felony, such as rape or murder, rather than a misdemeanor like a DUI. If ICE agents attempt to arrest a person who is not part of those categories, they must obtain approval from senior ICE officials in writing.
In December 2020 – the last full month of the previous administration – ICE arrested approximately 4,400 immigrants with criminal convictions, although many of these crimes were misdemeanors. In February 2021 – the first full month of the Biden administration – ICE only made 1,900 arrests.
If you or a loved one is facing deportation in Illinois, Arizona, or Texas, contact Gambacorta Law today at (847) 443-9303 for experienced legal representation. Do not hesitate to let us help you remain in the United States!