The Biden administration has authorized Immigration and Customs Enforcement attorneys to dismiss certain immigration enforcement cases if they involve a person who did not cross the border recently and is not a public safety threat, Buzzfeed News reports. The memo emphasizes the prosecutorial discretion of ICE's attorneys at a time when the dockets of immigration courts are critically backlogged. The memo from Biden-appointed ICE legal adviser Kerry Doyle, states “Prosecutorial discretion is an indispensable feature of any functioning legal system. The exercise of prosecutorial discretion, where appropriate, can preserve limited government resources, achieve just and fair outcomes in individual cases, and advance DHS’s mission of administering and enforcing the immigration laws of the United States in a smart and sensible way that promotes public confidence.”
The memo says that ICE must be "mindful of the resource constraints under which [they] operate at a time when immigration courts docket total over 1.5 million cases nationwide." Conservative critics have levied claims that the Biden administration is tying the hands of immigration officials and hurting the U.S. workforce, but Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas countered by saying that not all of the 11 million undocumented immigrants can be targeted for enforcement and that many of those 11 million are contributing members of society.