Federal agents will no longer be allowed to carry out most immigration arrests at courthouses, following a change of policy announced by President Biden’s administration.
The new approach, announced Tuesday, scales back a Trump-era policy from 2018 that authorized routine apprehensions at federal, state and local courthouses.
In a statement, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the previous strategy “had a chilling effect on individuals’ willingness to come to court or work cooperatively with law enforcement.”
“Today’s guidance is the latest step in our efforts to focus our civil immigration enforcement resources on threats to homeland security and public safety,” Mayorkas said.
Arrests may only be made in or near courthouses in limited instances: when it involves a national security matter; an imminent risk of death violence or physical harm to any person; a hot pursuit of someone who poses a threat to public safety; or an imminent risk of destruction of evidence related to a criminal case.