In an effort to undo anything the Trump administration did, especially when it comes to immigration the Biden administration is teaming up with several agencies to put together a program which would review cases of immigrant deportation in situations where the person deported has strong ties to the U.S.

While some legal scholars have said that large numbers of deportations being overturned would be unusual, officials with the Biden administration claim that many deportations under the Trump administration were, “unduly harsh with little law enforcement benefit.” 

In the past, reversing a deportation required a lengthy legal battle, and in most cases with few exceptions, deportations were not reversed.

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Which Cases Might Be Looked At First?

The first cases on the review list may be for family members of military members. According to a report from the Washington Post, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and his staff have been in talks with immigration advocates, deported veterans themselves, and members of Congress recently to gather information regarding specific cases.

In May, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released a memo stating that military members and their immediate relatives should not be deported. The practice is for ICE to screen military members for any eligibility for U.S. citizenship, or any other immigration benefits they may qualify for prior to deportation.

However in 2019, it was learned that the General Accountability Office that ICE did not track how many veterans had been deported, many times, after they had been arrested for other crimes.

But some appear to be becoming impatient with the government as they attempt to come up with a program. Immigration Lawyer and retired Army officer Margaret Stock said, “President Biden made all these promises, I’ve hardly seen anybody brought back.”

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Other Types Of Cases That May Be Reviewed

Military veterans are not the only cases that could warrant a review under a new program. Those who have spouses, children, or other immediate family members who are American citizens could be eligible for review. The families would have to show that they had been “severely harmed” by the deportation of a parent or someone who is the main source of income for the family.

Another option for those who may have wanted to re-enter the U.S. for medical reasons is a humanitarian parole. It could be granted for things such as those who need treatment for acute illnesses like various forms of cancer. Under humanitarian parole guidelines, immigrants must report to ICE within 72 hours of arrival in the U.S., and be monitored by them.

There is also a push for reopening immigration cases in courts to offer immigrants waivers to remove obstacles that would block migrants from obtaining legal green cards through family members. 

The quest for deportees to return to the U.S. may extend as far back as the Obama administration. Many immigration advocates during the Obama administration dubbed him the “deporter-in-chief.”

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What The Biden Administration Hopes To Put In Place

Several agencies including the DHS would be involved in the review process. Officials say that the action of creating the review process is a slow one, and no official deadline for implementation has been set.

DHS Spokeswoman Marsha Espinosa said that, “a rigorous, systematic approach to conduct the reviews and an orderly process for deported people to present their claims” is being developed.

Each review would be on a case-by-case basis. Those involved in creating the review process say as many as 900,000 deportations that were carried out during the Trump administration could be reversed.

A senior immigration official says that their goal is a clear one, “We’re eager to bring people back in who shouldn’t have been removed in the first place.”