The Biden administration’s significantly narrowed priorities for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) were overturned by a court on Saturday, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it will follow the decision, Fox News informed.
Agents will decide things on a “case-by-case” basis while its appeal is being heard, the department said.
Even while DHS “strongly opposing the court decision of the Southern District of Texas to vacate the Guidelines the DHS stated in a statement it will abide by the court’s order while it continues to appeal it.
The announcement follows a judgment by Texas Judge Drew Tipton earlier this month that invalidated a directive from the Biden administration that dramatically restricted which illegal immigrants the agency could detain and deport.
The government is appealing the decision after Tipton’s seven-day stay expired.
According to DHS, “ICE agents and officers will start making enforcement decisions on a case-by-case basis during the appeals process in a professional and responsible manner, made aware by their knowledge as law enforcement officials and in a manner that best provides protection against the greatest threats to the homeland.
The September memo limited authorities to prioritizing recent illegal migrants, risks to national security, and individuals with certain “aggravated” offences. It also cemented the temporary guidance released in February 2021.
Detentions and deportations have drastically decreased under the policy.
ICE apprehended 74,082 noncitizens in FY 2021, which covered the last few months of the Trump presidency, and deported 59,011.
Only 47,755 of the 74,082 arrests made between October 2020 and one year after, in October 2021 happened after the revised priorities went into effect on February 18.
Only 28,677 of the 59,011 deportations occurred after February 18 in terms of removals.
103,603 people were arrested and 185,884 people were removed in FY 2020.
The organization deported 267,258 people and detained 143,099 illegal immigrants in FY 2019.
Texas and Louisiana filed a lawsuit against the memo, and Tipton agreed with the states in his decision that the federal government had failed to adequately reconcile the guideline with the federal law, which requires the detention in specific circumstances.