Broken Promises from President Biden
President Biden has promised to better the country’s current immigration policies. Little has been done on these promises. One victory that we can talk about by the Biden administration is the guidelines on who is eligible for deportation and arrest by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and who is not. Some may say that the new guidelines are working because the number of immigrants in ICE detention centers is low, and so are the arrests compared to the previous administrations. However, Asylum seekers will still be required to wait for their court hearings at the U.S.-Mexican border; this policy has not changed since former President Trump established it. This is extremely dangerous for the asylum seeker and likely violates the United States’ treaty obligations under international law. Although President Biden attempted to end the policy, a lawsuit temporarily enjoined this action and the Biden administration decided to keep the terrible and dangerous process.
The Biden administration did revive prosecutorial discretion and issued updated guidelines regarding the same. The new guideline intends to better focus the resources on apprehending and removing individuals who threaten the country’s national security. Prosecutorial discretion refers to the process where immigration prosecutors agree to drop a case or put the case on hold. ICE states that they had received an estimated 47,000 requests for prosecutorial discretion. The agency says that it has granted 70% of these requests.
Immigration lawyers remain skeptical about ICE granting these requests and have not seen many changes in the system since the new guideline was implemented. For example, an attorney at Rubin Pomerleau asked ICE to drop the appeals he had on two asylum cases that he had won. After months of no answer from ICE, ICE denied this request. While other attorneys across the country have reported that some of their requests are being approved. It is too early to conclude how this new policy will play out. Meanwhile, immigrants are also confused and do not understand why the Biden administration claims to help them and to be pro-immigrant, only later to discover that their case is still classified as a removal priority, and they are facing possible deportation.
If you or anyone you know is in removal (deportation proceedings), please contact Pikes Peak Immigration to schedule a consultation. Our attorneys have experience handling all types of defenses available in removal proceedings, including prosecutorial discretion.