President Joe Biden’s administration has deported hundreds of immigrants in its early days despite his campaign pledge to stop removing most people in the U.S. illegally at the beginning of his term, reports the Associated Press. The report comes as Biden prepares to unveil an immigration policy Tuesday that is described as cautious. A federal judge last week ordered the Biden administration not to enforce a 100-day moratorium on deportations, but the ruling did not require the government to schedule them. In recent days, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has deported immigrants to at least three countries: 15 people to Jamaica on Thursday and 269 people to Guatemala and Honduras on Friday. More deportation flights were scheduled Monday.
It’s unclear how many of those people are considered national security or public safety threats or had recently crossed the border illegally, the priority under new guidance that the Department of Homeland Security issued to enforcement agencies and that took effect Monday. Two legal experts say that regardless of the judge’s order on the deportation moratorium, ICE could release immigrants with deportation orders, keep people detained or otherwise delay the deportation process. “It’s important that President Biden and Vice President Harris realize that despite their very clear desires about how immigrants are treated, we continue to see on a local level immigrants being mistreated and disregarded,” said Melissa Lopez, executive director of the nonprofit Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services.