The Biden administration is halting nearly all deportations of illegal aliens, citing limited resources and the need to protect public health and safety, as thousands of migrants from Central America approach the US-Mexico border.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been ordered to implement “a 100-day pause on certain removals to enable focusing the Department’s resources where they are most needed,” starting no later than January 22, according to a memo from acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske sent out on Thursday.

“Due to limited resources, DHS cannot respond to all immigration violations or remove all persons unlawfully in the United States,” Pekoske told the acting department executives, adding that they “must implement civil immigration enforcement based on sensible priorities and changing circumstances.”

Pekoske actually cited the Covid-19 pandemic as “unique circumstances” facing the country, and said the DHS must “surge resources” to the border with Mexico to ensure “safe, legal and orderly processing” and “rebuild fair and effective asylum procedures that respect human rights and due process.”

The DHS and ICE will prioritize “threats to national security, public safety, and border security,” meaning individuals suspected of terrorism, convicted of “aggravated felony” and those who illegally crossed on or after November 1, 2020, Pekoske specified.

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The new guidance is in line with executive orders signed by the newly sworn-in President Joe Biden on Wednesday, ordering the DHS to change ICE enforcement “in line with our values and priorities.” (RT)