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A 100-day moratorium on deportations starts on Friday, Biden administration announces

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Protesters against deportations interrupt Joe Biden during a town hall on November 21, 2019 in Greenwood, South Carolina.

  • The Biden administration will be imposing a 100-day moratorium on most deportations beginning January 22.
  • The pause is “to ensure we have a fair and effective enforcement system.”
  • The move was announced Wednesday night by US Department of Homeland Security.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Biden administration will temporarily halt most deportations “to ensure we have a fair and effective immigration enforcement system,” the Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday.

The pause will begin Friday and last 100 days.

President Joe Biden committed to the moratorium on removal proceedings last year while campaigning for the Democratic nomination. That marked a reversal for the candidate, who in 2019 clashed with an immigrant rights activist who had demanded just that.

In a statement, David Pekoske, acting secretary of the DHS, said the pause will allow the department “to review and reset enforcement polices.”

It will also “allow DHS to ensure that its resources are dedicated to responding 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,” he said.

The statement noted that the moratorium will only apply “for certain noncitizens.” The department did not immediately respond to a request for clarification. During the campaign, Biden committed to halting “any deportations of people already in the United States.”

The move is one of a slew of immigration-related announcements to come in the first hours of the Biden administration.

Earlier in the day, President Biden signed an executive order rescinding his predecessor’s de facto ban on Muslim travelers. He also introduced a comprehensive immigration reform package that would offer permanent residency to migrant farm workers and a pathway to citizenship for more than 11 million undocumented people, winning him early praise from activists and evangelical Christian leaders.

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