During the 2020 presidential campaing, President Joe Biden (D) made a distinction between himself and President Donald Trump (R) regarding Trump’s immigration policies. In the days leading up to the election, Democrats vowed to undo President Trump’s hardline immigration efforts, but now the Biden administration is receiving criticism from the ACLU over a newly released memo that outlines the DHS' new immigration plans.
Naureen Shah, the senior advocacy and policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, released a statement this week concerning a memo on interior enforcement in the Department of Homeland Security. The memo discussed the government policy that will be in effect during the next 90 days, and it addresses the scope of who the Department considers a priority for interior immigration enforcement and deportation.
In the statement, Shah expresses that “the memo is a disappointing step backward from the Biden administration’s earlier commitments to fully break from the harmful deportation policies of both the Trump and Obama presidencies.” She added that “while the Biden administration rightly acknowledges that immigrants are our family members, our coworkers, and our neighbors, for now it has chosen to continue giving ICE officers significant discretion to conduct operations that harm our communities and tear families apart.”
Shah warned that continuing said policies are damaging because it will “import the injustices of the criminal legal system and will lead to continued disproportionate deportations of Black and Brown immigrants.”
During election season, a number of lawmakers that supported Biden also voiced their support for defunding ICE.
Former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D), who has hinted that she may be launching another run for office in 2022 backed Biden could be second-guessing herself after Biden's recent change of mind regarding immigration reform.
Our country has had a broken immigration system for decades and needs immediate reform.
— Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (@DebbieforFL) February 18, 2021
On Twitter, Mucarsel-Powell criticized the current immigration policies, detailing that “our country has had a broken immigration system for decades and needs immediate reform.”
She explained that “the bicameral US Citizenship Act will finally provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders and millions of immigrants who are essential to our nation.”