Acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske announced a 100-day pause on some deportations late Wednesday, moving to carry out one of President Biden’s most prominent campaign promises.
The halt is to take effect Friday.
“The pause will allow DHS to ensure that its resources are dedicated to responding to the most pressing challenges that the United States faces, including immediate operational challenges at the southwest border in the midst of the most serious global public health crisis in a century,” Mr. Pekoske said in a statement.
Security experts have warned that the pause could exacerbate the border situation by inviting a new surge of migrants eager to take advantage of more lax enforcement if they can get to the interior of the U.S.
The pause followed an earlier directive Wednesday to halt the Remain-in-Mexico policy that had helped solve the last migrant surge in 2019.
The Biden team says other measures in place during the pandemic should help prevent a mass migration overload at the border.
Perhaps no other issue shows a greater divergence between the Trump administration and the Biden team than on immigration, where Mr. Biden has vowed to wipe away as many of his predecessor’s policies as possible.
The 100-day deportation halt was a prominent part of the plans Mr. Biden laid out during the campaign.
He said it was needed in order to take stock of who Mr. Trump was trying to oust.