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  • Roger Nayar

No deportations for 100 days

A memo floated by David Pekoske, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, stated that the Chief of Staff has to review the myriad immigration enforcement policies across the department. Accordingly, and pending the completion of the review, Mr. Pekoske is directing an immediate pause on removals of any noncitizen with a final order of removal (except as noted below) for 100 days to go into effect as soon as practical and no later than January 22, 2021.

The pause on removals applies to any noncitizen present in the United States when this directive takes effect with a final order of removal except one who: 1. According to a written finding by the Director of ICE, has engaged in or is suspected of terrorism or espionage, or otherwise poses a danger to the national security of the United States; or 2. Was not physically present in the United States before November 1, 2020; or

3. Has voluntarily agreed to waive any rights to remain in the United States, provided that he or she has been made fully aware of the consequences of waiver and has been given a meaningful opportunity to access counsel prior to signing the waiver (A voluntary waiver encompasses noncitizens who stipulate to removal as part of a criminal disposition); or 4. For whom the Acting Director of ICE, following consultation with the General Counsel, makes an individualized determination that removal is required by law.

No later than February 1, 2021, the Acting Director of ICE shall issue written instructions with additional operational guidance on the further implementation of this removal pause. The guidance shall include a process for individualized review and consideration of the appropriate disposition for individuals who have been ordered removed for 90 days or more, to the extent necessary to implement this pause. The process shall provide for assessments of alternatives to removal including, but not limited to, staying or reopening cases, alternative forms of detention, custodial detention, whether to grant temporary deferred action, or other appropriate action.

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