Earlier this month, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) defied President Joe Biden’s deportation guidelines and sent at least 72 people to Haiti from the United States in an apparent clash between ICE and the new administration. Despite the Biden Administration’s announcement of a policy that would focus its deportation efforts on terrorists, violent criminals, and other high-priority cases, amongst the many immigrants deported were several children and infants to Haiti. Although deportation flights to Haiti were suspended in early February 2021, ICE reinstated the flights on the 22nd causing an outcry among immigration and human rights activists and making the rift between the agency and the White House public.
The Biden Administration issued a 100-day moratorium on deportations after taking office, with exceptions for suspected terrorists, dangerous criminals, and arrivals at the border after November 1st of 2020. The moratorium alone would not have stopped Monday’s Title 42 expulsions. The agency chose to ignore those guidelines last week, attempting to deport a planeload of African migrants, leading to accusations of a rogue agency. Below are some data to illustrate the impact of families being held by ICE provided courtesy of: Black Alliance For Just Immigration.
Immigration advisers are especially concerned for the safety of the children deported on Monday, given Haiti’s mounting political turmoil. Many Haitians arriving at the US-Mexico border have said they were seeking asylum from political crisis. President Biden has begun to mold immigration policy which included bring back Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberians, which allows migrants to stay in the United States temporarily without fear of deportation.
On Thursday, February 18, 2021 The Biden Administration rolled out new instructions to ICE officers temporarily restricting grounds they could use to initiate deportations. The new policy called for more oversight of ICE agents, requiring preapproval before seeking to deport anyone that doesn’t meet the new criteria. The Biden Administration made a critical first step towards beginning to address what was wrong with the immigration system. We must collectively put pressure on the Department of Homeland Security to stop deporting our community members and individuals and return all deported members. You can support this cause by signing this petition.
For more information regarding Immigration & Naturalization law, The Law Offices of Marjory Cajoux is here to answer your immigration-related questions. You can depend on us to stay ahead of immigration developments and keep you informed.