Biden Administration Issues New Arrest Guidelines for ICE Agents

On September 30, 2021, the Biden administration released a memo to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), directing its agents to prioritize arresting and deporting undocumented immigrants who pose threats to national security, public safety, and border security. The new guidelines are designed to undo President Donald Trump’s broad immigration arrest policies. 

The memo replaces interim guidance issued at the start of the current administration. In August, a federal judge in Texas blocked that guidance, but an appeals court paused most parts of the injunction. 

Threat to National Security 

An undocumented foreign national who has committed, is suspected of committing terrorism, espionage, or other offenses, or otherwise poses a danger to national security is a priority for arrest and deportation. 

Threat to Public Safety 

An undocumented foreign national who has committed, is suspected of committing a serious criminal offense, or otherwise poses a current threat to public safety is a priority for arrest and deportation. ICE agents must determine whether to arrest an undocumented individual based on the facts and circumstances of the case. 

Some of the common aggravating factors in favor of arrest and deportation include: 

  • The seriousness of the crime and the sentence upon conviction 

  • The nature and degree of harm resulting from the crime 

  • The complexity of the offense 

  • If the offense involved the use or threat of using a firearm or dangerous weapon 

  • If the individual has a prior criminal history 

Some of the common mitigating factors in favor of not taking any enforcement action include: 

  • The individual’s legal status 

  • If the individual is of advanced or tender age 

  • How long the individual has continuously lived in the United States 

  • If a physical or mental health condition contributed to the criminal act 

  • If the individual is eligible for humanitarian protection or another form of immigration relief 

  • How the individual’s removal will affect his/her family 

  • If the individual or a family member is enlisted in the U.S. military or involved in other public services 

  • Evidence of rehabilitation since a previously committed offense 

  • If the conviction was expunged or vacated 

Threat to Border Security 

An undocumented foreign national who has been apprehended at the border or port of entry while trying to illegally enter the U.S., apprehended in the U.S. after unlawfully entering after November 1, 2020, or otherwise pose a threat to border security is a priority for arrest and deportation. 

When Will the New Priorities Take Effect? 

The new priorities from the memo will become effective in 60 days. Enforcement decisions will be subject to a rigorous review after the first 90 days. 

If you are facing removal proceedings in Phoenix, AZ, call Kanu & Associates, P.C. at (602) 353-7795 or fill out our online contact form today to request a case evaluation. Serving immigration clients throughout Arizona for more than two decades! 

Related Posts
  • Federal Judge Orders Biden to Resume Trump's Policy of Expelling Unaccompanied Immigrant Children at the Border Read More
  • Biden Administration Offers Temporary Legal Status to Ukrainians in U.S. Read More
  • Answers to Green Card FAQs Read More