Individuals who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally can now contest their arrest and detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement if they believe their case does not align with the Biden administration’s new enforcement policies, according to a Friday ICE news release.
“The [ICE Case Review] process offers another channel through which noncitizens and their representatives can request that ICE exercise its prosecutorial discretion on a particular noncitizen’s behalf, and to resolve questions and concerns, consistent with law, policy, and the interests of justice,” the news release reads.
ICE has established a process that allows immigrants and their lawyers to contest their arrest and detention if they believe their cases do not “align” with the Biden administration’s new enforcement policies, according to a notice sent to Congress. pic.twitter.com/xYR6CFJTBW
— Camilo Montoya-Galvez (@camiloreports) March 5, 2021
Immigrants have been able to challenge arrests, detention or deportation in the past at the local level, but the ICR process allows them to file a separate appeal if their request is denied, BuzzFeed News reported.
A senior reviewing official will then see if the arrest meets the Biden administration’s immigration guidelines or if there are new circumstances that deserve a different decision.
“ICE remains dedicated to providing multiple lines of communication for noncitizens or their representatives, to discuss individual cases,” ICE Acting Director Tae Johnson said in the news release.
“The case review process provides an avenue for noncitizens and their representatives to request further review of the individual facts and circumstances of their case in light of ICE’s priorities for enforcement, detention, and removal, offering additional transparency into the immigration process.”
The new ICR process comes weeks after President Joe Biden instructed the agency to shift its focus from deporting immigrants for crimes like driving under the influence to focusing on recent border crossers, national security threats and people completing prison terms for aggravated felony convictions, according to The Washington Post.
“It’s as if the Biden people are more intent on reversing every single immigration enforcement action that the Trump administration took, no matter how appropriate or routine, and no matter the cost to taxpayers nor how illogical to reverse it,” the Center for Immigration Studies’ Director of Policy Jessica Vaughan told Breitbart News.
“It’s an insult to legal immigrants.”
The Post reported the Biden administration had attempted to implement a 100-day deportation moratorium, but it was blocked by a federal judge in Texas.
The new enforcement priorities will likely lead to a cut in the average number of arrests ICE officers make.
“This demonstrates that we as an agency will be as consistent as possible and comply with the interim guidance as we await new guidance through [executive orders] and policies,” an ICE official told BuzzFeed on the condition of anonymity.
“This is an extra layer to just make sure we are transparent … and are delivering what the secretary is looking for.”
The process is expected to remain in effect until a new set of guidelines is planned to be released at the beginning of May.
February’s total represented an increase from the 78,000 detained in January and the highest monthly number since June 2019.
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