US limits immigrant arrests to schools and “protected” areas – NBC Boston


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US immigration officials to limit arrests at schools, hospitals and other “protected” areas in accordance with guidelines released by the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday, as part of a broader push to roll back the approach to enforcement under President Donald Trump.

Officers and officers are urged to avoid making arrests or searches of various sensitive locations “to the extent possible,” according to a note from DHS secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, outlining the policy.

It is the latest in a series of immigration policies under President Joe Biden aimed at taking a more targeted approach to enforcement. The policy is similar to that of President Barack Obama which limited arrests in churches and schools.

The new policy includes not only schools, but also medical facilities and day care centers, playgrounds and recreation centers as well as demonstrations and gatherings.

This is likely to further alienate critics of Biden who say a weaker app encourages migrants to seek illegal entry into the country. The Trump administration has drawn criticism for attempting to illegally arrest and return anyone to the country, regardless of their criminal background or ties to the community, although DHS has also operated as part of a sensitive places policy that limited enforcement actions in churches and other places.

Guidelines released earlier this year for immigration law enforcement officers ordered officers to focus on recent border franchisees, national security threats and people who have committed serious crimes . DHS has also placed limits on arrests in courthouses when people have shown up on other matters.

Mayorkas argued that her agency does not have the resources to prosecute the estimated 11 million people without legal status in the country and that it should focus on those who pose the greatest risk to society.

Announcing the new policy guidelines, the secretary said officers and agents should consider “broader societal interests” and the impact of their activities on communities.

“We can accomplish our law enforcement mission without denying individuals access to necessary medical care, children access to their schools, displaced people food and shelter, people of faith the access to their places of worship, and more, ”Mayorkas said.

The list of protected areas includes broad categories such as “a place where children congregate” and “a place where disaster or emergency response and relief are provided,” a broad policy that marks a significant change for a community. agency that understands U.S. Customs and Borders. Protection and border patrol.

The exceptions include when the action involves a threat to national security; whether there is an imminent risk of death, violence or physical injury to a person; whether it is the “pursuit” of a person who poses a threat to public safety and of a person who has been personally observed crossing the border without legal authorization.

Other exceptions would be if there is an imminent risk that evidence important to a criminal case will be destroyed or if no other safe location exists.

Otherwise, officers or officers should obtain approval before taking enforcement action “in or near” a protected area, according to the memo.

The Biden administration has struggled to deal with large numbers of migrants seeking to cross the US-Mexico border, although the total encountered has declined in the past two months after more than a year of monthly increases.

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