The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on January 20, 2021, that it is pausing for 100 days removals for certain noncitizens ordered deported, with exceptions. DHS said the action is intended “to ensure we have a fair and effective immigration enforcement system focused on protecting national security, border security, and public safety” and to “allow DHS to ensure that its resources are dedicated to responding to the most pressing challenges that the United States faces.” Among those issues, a press release states, are “immediate operational challenges at the southwest border in the midst of the most serious global public health crisis in a century.”
DHS said it will “continue to enforce our immigration laws” throughout “this interim period.” The memo calls for a review of policies and practices related to immigration enforcement.
Meanwhile, Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, sued the Biden administration over the new policy to pause removals, stating that the “unlawful reversal” “ignored basic constitutional principles and violated [the government’s] written pledge” made in the last weeks of the Trump administration “to work cooperatively with the State of Texas to address shared immigration enforcement concerns.”
- “Acting Secretary of DHS Directs a Review of Immigration Enforcement Practices and Policies,” DHS press release, Jan. 20, 2021
- “Memorandum From Acting Secretary Pekoske on Immigration Enforcement Policies.”
- Texas v. United States
- “Texas Sues Biden Administration Over 100-Day Deportation ‘Pause,’ ” Washington Post (subscription)