Back to Top skip to main content
GandS U.S. Immigration Logo
Feb 19, 2021

Biden Administration Signals Broad Immigration Enforcement Changes

Stephen Antwine

The Biden Administration has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to review and update policies related to enforcement guidelines.  As an initial step, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has released new guidance on immigration enforcement and removal categories. The enforcement priorities are divided into three main categories, as follow:

Priority Category 1: National security concerns--The arrest and detention of individuals engaging in, or suspected of engaging in terrorism, espionage or other activities to thwart the national security of the United States will be prioritized.

Priority Category 2: Border enforcement--The priority arrest and detention for border security will ensure apprehension of individuals attempting to unlawfully enter the United States on or after November 1, 2020. Similarly, those unlawfully present in the United States and not physically present in the United States on November 1, 2020 will be prioritized for detention.

Priority Category 3: Criminal History--Individuals with aggravated felony convictions, as defined in the immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(43) or those with gang affiliations will be prioritized.

Any individual falling into one of the above categories may be apprehended at the discretion of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. 

Individuals who are not a member of one of these categories may be detained; however, the decision about how to process them is subject to further review.  That is, individuals who are not priorities will be subject to review by ICE officers to determine the best course of action, including: release on their own recognizance, issuance of a notice to appear in immigration court, granting of parole or other action.

The priority system outlined by the Biden Administration is reminiscent of the priorities imposed by the Obama Administration.  That said, these current changes, indicate that President Biden is taking a far more lenient approach to immigration enforcement in order to keep families united. These changes to enforcement priorities are likely just the beginning of the overhaul to the immigration enforcement agencies throughout the Department of Homeland Security.

If you or a family member have an existing order of deportation, or if you have questions about the Presidential Order, please contact Stephen Antwine, Esq. at Green & Spiegel, LLC at (215) 395-8959.

Related Team

Stephen Antwine

Stephen Antwine

215-395-8959

215-395-8959

email Stephen

Philadelphia (US Headquarters)

Full Biography

Stephen Antwine

Recent Blogs

Dec 09, 2021

Social Security Isn't Notifying Employers of Wage Discrepancies and It Is up to Employers and Employees to Make Sure It's Right

Employers are required to file wage reports on all U.S. employees, from which Social Security collects the data on which benefits are calculated. Inaccurate wages data may result in diminished benefits or even ineligibility. It is, therefore, in the interests of employees for the data employers provide to the federal government to be accurate and for any errors to be corrected timely. Learn more in this blog.

Dec 03, 2021

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has Changed the Rules for Air Travel to the U.S.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have a significant role in forming, publishing, and enforcing U.S. pandemic policy. Due to the Omicron Variant of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the CDC has made some significant changes to the COVID-19 protocols and requirements for air travel. These changes went into effect on Thursday, December 2, 2021 and will continue until the Biden Administration directs otherwise. Learn more in this blog.

Nov 30, 2021

Travel Restrictions for Those Who Have Been in Certain African Countries During the 14 Days Prior to Traveling to the U.S.

The Biden Administration has established 2019 novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) travel restrictions on foreign nationals who were in: The Republic of Botswana (“Botswana”); the Kingdom of Eswatini (“Swaziland”); the Kingdom of Lesotho (“Lesotho”); the Republic of Malawi (“Malawi”); the Republic of Mozambique (“Mozambique”); the Republic of Namibia (“Namibia”); the Republic of South Africa (“South Africa”); and the Republic of Zimbabwe (“Zimbabwe”). The format and structure of the policy are nearly identical to the travel restrictions that were rescinded on November 8, 2021. Noncitizens who have been in these countries during the fourteen (14) days prior to seeking to travel to the United States are barred from admission, unless eligible for one of the Proclamation’s blanket exemptions or granted an exception pursuant to Sec. 2 (a)(xii). The National Interest Exception (NIE) process, rendered void by the November 8, 2021 travel restriction policy rescission, rides again. Learn more in this blog.