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Biden Administration Restructures Enforcement Priorities for Removals

Department of Homeland Security | May 27, 2021




The Biden Administration issued a memorandum which serves as a guidance to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on many issues impacting immigration. Issues such as enforcement and removal priority cases; prosecutorial discretion; notices to appear; administrative closure and continuance of proceedings; dismissal of proceedings; bond proceedings; and much more. This memorandum is in response to President Biden's Executive Order issued on January 20, 2021, a Revision of Civil Immigration Enforcement Policies and Priorities.


The memorandum provides three new priorities that are subject for removal which fall under the following categories:

  1. National Security- a person suspected of terrorism or terrorism- related activities;

  2. Border Security- a person apprehended at the border while attempting to illegally enter the United States; and

  3. Public Safety- a person that has been convicted of an "aggravated felony" or any persons over the age of 16 with gang affiliations

Additionally, immigration court prosecutors have been authorized to use prosecutorial discretion for cases that have relevant mitigating factors and those factors may include:


  1. Military Service Members or Immediate Relatives

  2. Individuals Likely to be Granted Temporary or Permanent Relief

  3. Compelling Humanitarian Factors

  4. Significant Law Enforcement or Other Governmental Interests

  5. Long-Term Lawful Permanent Residents


Furthermore, prosecutorial discretion can also be used are for cases that are not priority cases such as improperly documented notices to appear or administrative closure and continuance of proceedings. Prosecutorial discretion will remain the authority of an agency to decide how to enforce or not to enforce the law.


Click for more on this memorandum: https://www.ice.gov/doclib/about/offices/opla/OPLA-immigration-enforcement_interim-guidance.pdf

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