The Department of Homeland Security released a new memo regarding immigration enforcement policy, and it’s good news for immigrant communities and advocates.
The Biden administration is telling immigration enforcement officers to avoid making arrests “to the fullest extent possible” in ‘protected areas.’ The policy is an expanded version of an Obama-era policy that restricted arrests at churches and schools.
Protected areas under the policy include:
- Schools, daycares, and playgrounds
- Hospitals and medical facilities
- Rallies and demonstrations
- Any place “where children gather”
- Any place “where disaster or emergency relief is provided”
“We can accomplish our law enforcement mission without denying individuals access to needed medical care, children access to their schools, the displaced access to food and shelter, people of faith access to their places of worship, and more,” said DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The policy would make exceptions for targets who pose an imminent threat to national security or to another person.
While the policy has drawn criticism from anti-immigrant organizations, the American Immigration Lawyers Association fully supports the expansion of the protected area policy. “DHS is reaffirming that people should not live in fear of enforcement actions as they access health care, schools, places of worship, and other important institutions,” said AILA President Allen Orr.
If you have questions about this policy and how it affects your immigration case, speak with The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett Esq., P.C. for a confidential consultation as soon as possible. Call (800) 909-8129 or contact us online.