Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli on Thursday sought to clarify a statement from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that indicated it was halting most deportations due to the coronavirus outbreak -- with Cuccinelli pledging that deportations would still go ahead, but with increased safety precautions.
“In light of widespread misreporting, clarification of ICE’s recent announcement about enforcement during the COVID-19 situation is needed,” Cuccinelli said in a statement.
(3/5) This means that @ICEgov will continue to prioritize arresting and removing criminal aliens and other aliens who pose a threat to public safety, just as it always has during President @realDonaldTrump's administration.— Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli (@HomelandKen) March 19, 2020
ICE said Wednesday that its enforcement and removal operations (ERO) would focus on “public safety risks and individuals subject to mandatory detention based on criminal grounds.”
“For those individuals who do not fall into those categories, ERO will exercise discretion to delay enforcement actions until after the crisis or utilize alternatives to detention, as appropriate,” the statement said.