Use this button to switch between dark and light mode.

Expert: Changing ICE Like Steering An Ocean Liner

February 15, 2021 (1 min read)

Will Bunch, Philadelphia Enquirer, Feb. 15, 2021

"Stephen Yale-Loehr, a longtime immigration expert who teaches at Cornell Law School, told me this week in an email interview that Biden faces a long road in undoing Trump’s immigration policies. “First,” he said, “former President Trump emboldened ICE agents to arrest anyone they suspected of being here illegally, even if the person merely overstayed their visa. ICE officials will not want to return to the pre-Trump era, where they were supposed to prioritize deporting immigrants who had serious criminal convictions. That is harder work.” What’s more, with virtually no fanfare the Trump administration signed a remarkable 8-year deal with the National ICE Council — the union for ICE agents, which endorsed Trump in 2020 — with a clause that requires homeland security leaders to obtain “prior written consent” before implementing policy changes that would affect how agents do their job. Even if Team Biden somehow voids that contract, new immigration policies are also endangered by the flood of conservative judges rammed through by Trump and his Capitol Hill enabler Mitch McConnell. “In sum, changing the ICE bureaucracy is like steering an ocean liner,” Yale-Loehr said. “It takes time to change course. And it is harder when the crew may refuse to comply.” "