This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Loan Huynh, Fredrikson Immigration Department Chair, is a member.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced new guidelines for immigration enforcement priorities that focus on national security, public safety and border security and emphasize prosecutorial discretion. The new guidelines take effect November 29, 2021.
“For the first time, our guidelines will, in the pursuit of public safety, require an assessment of the individual and take into account the totality of the facts and circumstances” to ensure resources are focused most effectively on those who pose a threat, Secretary Mayorkas said. DHS also noted that most of the more than 11 million undocumented or otherwise removable noncitizens in the United States “have been contributing members of our communities across the country for years. The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen will not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them.”
Continuous training, a process to review the guidelines’ effective implementation, extensive data collection and a case review process will all be required, DHS said. Secretary Mayorkas is expected to issue additional immigration-related policy memos soon.