Originally Published in Salon
Julián Aguilar - January 26, 2021
Biden also signed executive orders rolling back additional Trump-era immigration policies
Immigrants and activists protest to demand that the Department of Homeland Security extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for more than 195,000 Salvadorans, January 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Getty/Andrew Caballero Reynolds)
This article originally appeared on The Texas Tribune.
The Department of Homeland Security announced two significant immigration policy changes late Wednesday that include a 100-day pause on deportations for some undocumented immigrants. The department also announced that asylum seekers who attempt to enter the United States will no longer be part of a controversial policy enacted under former President Donald Trump that has forced tens of thousands to wait in Mexico for American court hearings.
The deportation moratorium and changes to the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as "remain in Mexico," come on President Joe Biden's first day in office. He also signed executive orders rolling back additional Trump-era immigration policies.
The pause in deportations, which begins Friday, is part of a review and reset of enforcement policies within Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agencies as the Biden administration "develops its final priorities," according to a DHS statement.
The moratorium applies to "certain noncitizens ordered deported to ensure we have a fair and effective immigration enforcement system focused on protecting national security, border security, and public safety" according to the DHS. That category excludes any immigrant who is "suspected of terrorism or espionage, or otherwise poses a danger to the national security of the United States," those who entered after Nov. 1 and those who have voluntarily waived any rights to remain in the country, according to a DHS memo.
Beginning Thursday, "the department will cease adding individuals into the [Migrant Protection Protocols] program," according to a separate DHS statement. But the department added that border restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic are still in place. Those restrictions have allowed for the immediate expulsion of most unauthorized crossers back to Mexico. DHS said in its statement that more information about people in MPP will be forthcoming and asked the asylum seekers to stay in Mexico for now.