Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told federal judges this week that the department will once again need to delay a new policy for who can be targeted for deportation, according to a report.
The Biden administration is still operating under temporary rules set in February that strictly limit which migrants are eligible to be deported even though DHS said the permanent policy would be written "in less than 90 days," meaning May, according to the Washington Times.
April was a record low for the number of monthly deportations, the Washington Post reported in May.
Deportation officers are averaging about one deportation every two months currently despite the surge of migrants at the border, according to The Times.
"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has concentrated its limited law enforcement resources on threats to national security, border security, and public safety," ICE said in a May statement, according to The Post. "This has allowed ICE to focus on the quality of enforcement actions and how they further the security and safety of our communities rather than the simple quantity of arrests and removals."
Mayorkas has said he’s meeting with ICE officials and immigration rights activists to help structure the new deportation policy.
A timeline set in June for the "beginning of July" has now been postponed to August or September and could be delayed beyond that, The Times reported.
Several states have sued over the February rules, arguing they were made too quickly and without proper analysis of the situation at the border.
"Defendants recognize that their anticipated timeline for the issuance of the new guidance is longer than their original expectation, but the deliberative process for developing the new guidance is extensive and involved," government lawyers wrote of a Texas lawsuit.
Lawyers for the Texas lawsuit said, "The possibility of new guidance should not delay resolution of Plaintiffs’ pending motion for preliminary injunction, particularly in light of Defendants’ inability to describe what forthcoming guidance would say or when it would issue."