In late April 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) placed limits on civil immigration arrests in or near courthouses performed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said this practice discouraged people from cooperating with police and making their court appearances in fear of deportation.
Under the policy, ICE agents can now only make arrests in or near courthouses if the matter involves a risk of imminent harm or death, a hot pursuit involving a threat to the public, or a national security issue. Additionally, the policy also applies to subpoenas being handed out, interviews, and surveillance at or near courthouses, as well as situations where there is a risk of imminent destruction of evidence in a criminal case.
Acting leaders of ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have issued memos to each agencies’ staff about the limits of courthouse arrests. Both agencies must also provide a monthly report to the DHS on request that details any civil immigration enforcement actions that are planned or executes, as well as the reasons behind such actions.
Under a 2018 policy by the Trump administration, ICE officers had been authorized to enter local, state, and federal courthouses to arrest immigrants who were there for reasons other than immigration status. Federal agents arrested people who sought legal protection from abusive partners, trial witnesses, and those filing a civil claim.
President Joe Biden intends to change how the government enforces immigration violations. In February, his administration broadly directed ICE to focus on immigrants who posed a national security threat, who have committed sex and violent crimes, and who have recently been convicted of DUI.
The priorities of the Biden administration are like those of President Barack Obama. Under President Donald Trump, federal agents sought to arrest and remove illegal immigrants – no matter if they had a clean record or deep ties within their communities.
If you have been arrested for a crime in Miami and fear deportation, contact Hubbs Law, P.A. today at (305) 376-7178 to learn how we can protect your rights and freedom. Our legal team has successfully handled thousands of cases for satisfied clients.