Biden Admin Pauses Deportations and Suspends “Remain in Mexico” Policy

Texas Tribune | January 20, 2021

The Department of Homeland Security late Wednesday announced two significant immigration policy changes that include a 100-day pause on deportations for some undocumented immigrants. The department also announced that asylum seekers who attempt to enter the United States will no longer be part of a controversial policy enacted under former President Donald Trump that has forced tens of thousands to wait in Mexico for American court hearings.

The deportation moratorium and changes to the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as “remain in Mexico,” come on President Joe Biden’s first day in office where he earlier signed multiple executive orders rolling back additional Trump-era immigration policies.

The pause in deportations, which begins Friday, is part of a review and reset of current enforcement policies within Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agencies as the Biden administration “develops its final priorities” according to a DHS statement.

The moratorium applies to “certain noncitizens ordered deported to ensure we have a fair and effective immigration enforcement system focused on protecting national security, border security, and public safety” according to the DHS. That category excludes immigrants “suspected of terrorism or espionage, or otherwise poses a danger to the national security of the United States”, those who entered after Nov. 1 and those who have voluntarily waived any rights to remain in the country, according to a DHS memo [download].