The Biden administration is directing federal immigration authorities to not arrest illegal immigrants at certain locations designated as “protected “areas.
These locations include hospitals, medical facilities, schools, university campuses, COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites, places of worship and sites where children gather, such as playgrounds and daycare centers.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has told law enforcement officials they will not be allowed to serve subpoenas, conduct searches or make arrests where immigrants “receive or engage in the essential services or activities.”
These areas also include funerals, drug and alcohol treatment facilities, food pantries, demonstrations, parades and shelters for homeless people and victims of domestic violence.
Liberal organizations like the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights support the move by the Biden administration.
DHS insists it is only allowing a few exceptions where arrests can be made though matters involving national security threats or the imminent risk of death, violence or physical harm to a person will not be impacted.
DHS agents and other law enforcement officers would have to get permission before taking enforcement action “in or near” a protected area.
Congressional Republicans who criticized the Obama administration for being too lax on border enforcement say the Biden administration is worse on the matter, including offering more protection for illegal immigrants.
Florida Republicans U.S. Reps. Byron Donalds and Mike Waltz pointed out that both the Obama and Biden administrations froze workplace immigration raids by Border officials–but they insist the current president is far laxer on enforcing immigration policies.
Republicans have been criticized DHS for not conducting large worksite arrests when it comes to immigration. In recent months, the White House has ensured that law enforcement officials can’t deport people solely because they are undocumented.