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Law Enforcement Leaders Respond to New Immigration Enforcement Priorities

Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force   News & Resources

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of Homeland Security’s updated immigration enforcement priorities, announced Thursday, continue to target national security and public safety threats.

In addition, the priorities reaffirm that unauthorized status alone should not be cause for enforcement actions.

The following are quotes from members of the Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force (LEITF):

Chief Art Acevedo, Miami; Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force Co-chair:
“The Department of Homeland Security’s new immigration enforcement priorities reflect one of the LEITF’s key principles: When immigrants feel safe in their communities, we are all safer. By prioritizing the removal of noncitizens who pose a threat to public safety, border security or national security — and protecting undocumented immigrants who are integral to the fabric of their communities — the Biden administration will empower local law enforcement to engage their communities and improve public safety for all.”

Chief Orlando Rolón, Orlando, Florida; Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force Co-chair:
“The new guidelines serve as a reminder that we must constantly look for ways to improve the way we deliver law enforcement services. They address the needs of our nation by making clear that federal immigration enforcement should focus on public safety threats. On the local level, that will help us keep our communities safe.”

Retired Chief Ramon Batista, Mesa, Arizona; Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force Senior Advisor:
“In the Biden administration’s new enforcement priorities, Secretary Mayorkas acknowledges that millions of undocumented immigrants are contributing community members and essential workers. In prioritizing the deportation of noncitizens who threaten public safety or national security, DHS is demonstrating its commitment to building trust with immigrant communities. I applaud this smart, compassionate decision.”

Chief Chris Blue, Chapel Hill, North Carolina:
“Immigration enforcement is complex, and our enforcement priorities should reflect that complexity and allow for prosecutorial discretion. The Biden administration’s new enforcement priorities will ensure that the severity of the threat outweighs one’s individual immigration status. This will be a boon to local law enforcement agencies who continue to assert that immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility and that local police agencies should seek to serve and protect all members of their communities, regardless of their immigration status.”


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