The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers that are currently stationed throughout the country will be given a new set of directions from newly appointed President Biden. This guidance ultimately aims to lead to fewer arrests as well as changes to ICE policies on law-breaking criminals and deportation.
ICE Agents are no longer able to deport immigrants for crimes such as driving under the influence and assault, and instead will change efforts over to national security threats and felony convictions. Furthermore, it is expected that ICE will also not be able to have any say in less serious crimes like property crimes, fraud, or charges without convictions.
It is also expected that ICE will now need prior approval from the agency’s director before making arrests surrounding jails and prisons. Current drafts are being reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security and will need to be approved before going into full effect.
This new set of rules is aimed at focusing on the most dangerous criminals first, before targeting immigrants for non-serious crimes. This is very much expected as ICE was one of the main points of attack for former president Donald Trump, that resulted in a sweeping response in an “Abolish ICE” movement seen throughout the country.
While a lot is still up in the air, the new immigration policies surrounding ICE will become more lenient. Under Trump’s control, ICE was measured by the sheer quantity of arrests and did not take any value into how serious the criminal was, or any other important information related to the individual. Biden seems poised to impose a fairer immigration policy that targets the most dangerous individuals first.