Illegal aliens who sneak across the border are immediately shielded from immigration enforcement by the Biden administration’s “protected areas” policy, which has turned every community in America into a sanctuary for criminal aliens.
While the nation grapples with waves of mass illegal immigration at the border sparked by President Biden's policies, it’s important to remember that the administration has also declared that officers at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are largely barred from arresting illegal aliens in the interior of the country who are located in or near certain "protected places". Such places include a playground, a recreation center, a school, a place of worship or religious study, a location that offers vaccinations (such as a pharmacy), a community-based organization, any location that hosts weddings (such as a civic center, hotel, or park), any location with a school bus stop, any place “where children gather”, and many more places that are common to most towns.
Controversial ICE guidelines already drastically limit which illegal aliens can be arrested, but this protected-places policy further undermines ICE’s mission by significantly limiting where illegal aliens can be arrested. In other words, even the small portion of aliens ICE officers are allowed to arrest under the Biden administration are still off limits if they happen to be located in or near a so-called protected place.
The Biden administration’s anti-law enforcement policy has turned what used to be safe spaces for law-abiding Americans into safe spaces for law-breaking foreigners who have no right to be in the United States. This is particularly problematic for communities in border states that are bearing the brunt of the Biden administration’s open-borders agenda.
Plotting out Biden’s no-go zones for federal immigration officials on a partial map of Tucson, Ariz., for example, illustrates the truly dangerous scope of this policy. Though the Biden administration claims that the policy’s purpose is to ensure that illegal aliens have “access to essential services”, it’s clear that the real intent of this policy is to create a nationwide illegal alien sanctuary.
Watch below as the Tucson, Ariz., no-go zone locations for federal immigration officials are revealed:
Officers are prohibited from doing their job anywhere “near” these locations, an imprecise standard that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas admits has “no bright-line definition”. But Mayorkas explains that any immigration enforcement — to include even surveillance in anticipation of a potential arrest — must not be visible from the protected areas.
Adding a radius to represent areas “near” the protected areas results in this:
While the limitations don’t apply if there’s an “imminent” risk of harm or a “hot pursuit”, such circumstances are rare. Under the policy, officers are prohibited from arresting a known, illegal-alien child abuser near a playground unless they observe the alien committing or about to commit an assault. But because the policy prohibits officers from even conducting surveillance near playgrounds, officers likely wouldn’t be present to stop an assault from happening anyhow. It’s entirely possible that the recent alleged violent assault by an Afghan refugee on a 12-year-old boy in a New Mexico public park adjacent to a school was made possible not only by the Biden administration’s reckless refugee vetting process but also by the administration’s decision to turn public parks and locations near schools into safe havens for foreign criminals.
The courts have been reviewing the legality of the Biden administration’s controversial anti-enforcement guidelines that prohibit ICE from arresting most illegal aliens, but even if that were to be blocked, this nation-wide sanctuary policy would continue to limit the ability of ICE officers to carry out their public safety mission.
Americans will continue to be forced to live in sanctuaries for criminal illegal aliens until the public demands Congress put an end to the lawlessness.
This article was originally published by the Center for Immigration Studies.