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Department of Homeland Security begins implementation of immigration enforcement priorities

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security announced last week it will begin implementation of the Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law signed by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas on September 30.

This “is an important step forward in ensuring that our workforce is empowered to exercise its prosecutorial discretion and focus its enforcement efforts on those who pose a threat to our national security, public safety, and border security,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “DHS will carry out our mission to safeguard our country justly and humanely. In making our enforcement decisions, we will focus our efforts on the greatest threats while also recognizing that the majority of undocumented noncitizens, who have been here for many years and who have contributed positively to our country’s well-being, are not priorities for removal.”

With the new guidelines, officers will, to the fullest extent possible, obtain and review the entire criminal record, administrative record, and any other investigative information available, to include both aggravating and mitigating factors, in making their enforcement decisions. This will ensure a thorough and case-by-case assessment of whether enforcement action is warranted and appropriate, thus allowing DHS to focus its limited resources on cases of greatest importance to the national interest.

Officers are receiving continuous training on the guidelines and participating in small group sessions to ensure consistent application of the guidelines nationwide. Officers also are receiving ongoing web-based and in-person training to ensure effective implementation.

As described in the September 30th memo announcing the new guidelines, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will ensure there is a fair and equitable case review process that affords noncitizens and their representatives an opportunity to obtain expeditious review of an enforcement action taken. ICE will be issuing a memo in short order describing this process.

Secretary Mayorkas will continue to hold engagements with the DHS workforce and leadership across the country, as well as with a range of stakeholders including law enforcement, civic, and community leaders as the new guidance is implemented.

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