The Biden administration announced new restrictions on immigration enforcement deportations and arrests in what appears to be a concession to open borders advocates.
The new guidelines, published in a memo by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Thursday, order the department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to limit arrests and deportations to those who pose a threat to security.
"We do not have the resources to apprehend and seek the removal of every one of these noncitizens," read the memo. "Therefore, we need to exercise our discretion and determine whom to prioritize for immigration enforcement action."
Mayorkas went on to say that many of the migrants illegally residing in the U.S. add to the economy and their communities.
"In exercising our discretion, we are guided by the fact that the majority of undocumented noncitizens who could be subject to removal have been contributing members of our communities for years," he added. "They include individuals who work on the frontlines in the battle against COVID, lead our congregations of faith, teach our children, do back-breaking farm work to help deliver food to our table, and contribute in many other meaningful ways."
The memo goes on to say that law enforcement officials should focus their efforts on illegal aliens who pose a threat to national security or public safety. It also says that migrants who illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border after Nov. 1, 2021, are prioritized for deportation.
The Biden administration has been under intense pressure from illegal immigration advocates to stop deportations and end detentions of migrants captured illegally entering the U.S. Immigration protesters targeted the house of Mayorkas on Tuesday when they accused the Biden administration of continuing the policies of former President Donald Trump.
Critics of the Biden administration have blamed lax enforcement policies for encouraging more illegal immigration and worsening the crisis at the border.
Despite the new guidelines, some illegal immigration advocates called for more action from the Biden administration.
"Ultimately this memo only goes so far when it's taken into context ICE's massive infrastructure budget," responded Stacey Suh, program director at Detention Watch. "Ultimately ICE is a flawed agency that was meant to demonize and criminalize immigrants."
The new guidelines will take effect in 60 days.
Here's more about Biden's crisis at the border:
Cruz: Southern border 'worse than I've ever seen it' www.youtube.com