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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

New guidelines for immigration controls in “protected areas”

LOS ANGELES. On Wednesday, the Biden administration declared the country’s schools and hospitals, as well as a wide variety of other places, off-limits to immigration control, in the latest sign that it is committed to protecting millions of undocumented residents from deportation while working to ensure their path to legalization is stalled in Congress. …

The new rules, effective immediately, list “protected areas” where immigration agents should refrain from arrest, searches, subpoenas or other enforcement actions.

Sites include schools and campuses; hospitals, clinics and other medical institutions, as well as testing and vaccination sites for Covid-19; places of worship; and places where children gather, such as playgrounds, kindergartens and foster families.

“We should not restrict or restrict people’s access to basic services,” said Alejandro N. Mallorcas, Minister of Homeland Security, in an interview on Wednesday ahead of the official announcement.

“Children shouldn’t be afraid to go to school. Their parents should not be afraid to leave or take them, ”he added.

Other protected sites include shelters for victims of domestic violence and the homeless, drug and alcohol treatment facilities, food pantries and sites offering assistance to those fleeing natural disasters. Immigration enforcement measures should also be avoided at or near funerals, parades and demonstrations.

The guidelines represent the third policy issued by the Biden administration in recent weeks to bring “more humanity” to immigration law, Mr Mallorcas said.

They mark a profound shift in domestic law enforcement and, he says, are designed to improve the daily lives of millions of undocumented immigrants.

Most of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States have lived here for ten years or more, often with US-born children and close ties to their communities. About two-thirds of undocumented adults are employed, according to the Pew Research Center.

The list of bans on immigration arrests or other forms of enforcement is more extensive and specific than the one introduced by the Obama administration in 2011, which prohibited enforcement in places deemed vulnerable. During the Trump administration, indiscriminate arrests were common.

A memo detailing the policy that applies to field agents of the Immigration and Customs Service and Customs and Border Protection states that agents should “to the greatest extent possible” time”. “

The note states that any exceptions must be approved by the agency’s headquarters.

The guidelines came at a time when Democrats continue to struggle to add immigration provisions to the vast social safety net and the climate bill. Opportunities include granting protected stateless status to some undocumented persons and allowing immigrants who have been in the country for more than ten years to apply for permanent legal residence.

Since taking office, President Biden has moved away from his predecessor’s tough approach to illegal immigration; The new guidelines are the latest in a series designed to mitigate domestic enforcement away from the country’s border regions.

This week, two Republicans in the House of Representatives sent a letter to Mr Mallorcas demanding responses on changes in enforcement priorities.

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Arizona spokesman Andy Biggs called the new approach “an insult to the rule of law.”

“Instead of preventing ICE from enforcing the law, the Biden administration should empower them to keep our country safe,” he said in a statement.

Mr Biden has retained some of the border policies introduced by former President Donald Trump to stem the flow of unauthorized migrants at the border. However, border guards faced a record 1.7 million migrants in the fiscal year ending September 30.

During Trump’s rule, many undocumented immigrants refrained from spending time outdoors with their children and limited themselves to walking to a minimum, usually to buy groceries and go to work, knowing they could be detained even if they had not committed a crime.

Mr Trump rejected the discretionary powers of the prosecutor’s office that former President Barack Obama used to secure immigration, instead leaving everyone in the country illegally vulnerable to deportation.

Mr Mallorcas, who oversaw the new enforcement strategy, released the first set of new domestic priorities last month, instructing immigration and customs police agents to remove from the country only migrants who have recently crossed the border, or individuals who posed as a threat to public safety.

Last week, Mr. Mallorcas announced the suspension of workplace raids that could lead to the arrest and eventually deportation of thousands of undocumented workers. Mass raids, often at food processing facilities, have been a key element of immigration controls during the Trump administration.

“We need to look at the country’s illegally residing population and recognize their significant contribution and presence over the years,” said Mr Mallorcas, adding that the administration needs to adopt policies that protect undocumented immigrants as Congress has not yet been able to provide their legal status.

But while the latest moves are likely to receive praise from immigrant advocates, it is unclear whether the rank-and-file ICE officers, many of whom supported the crackdown imposed by the former administration, will obey.

“In the past, ICE and CBP have openly and blatantly ignored directives,” said Chris Newman, legal director for the National Holidays Network, which is fighting local police cooperation with immigration authorities.

“In addition to identifying and expanding vulnerabilities, the secretary must take steps to rein in the rogue agents tasked with implementing the new priorities,” he said.

Mr Mallorcas said implementation will be achieved through training, management and oversight of agents.

The Biden administration has drawn strong criticism from immigrant advocates who are frustrated that he has not made progress on his campaign promise to offer a permanent legal solution to illegal immigrants during his first year in office.

In recent weeks, immigrants and their allies have been demonstrating across the country, from Washington to Los Angeles, to pressure Democrats to include the path to citizenship in social safety nets and climate laws.

Protesters blocked traffic on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge during morning rush hour last Thursday, demanding Senate Democrats to “take immediate action to protect all immigrant families,” organizers said.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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