On April 23, the Department of Homeland Security announced the recission of civil penalties for noncitizens who had failed to depart the United States under an order of removal.
Beginning in 2018, ICE had issued fines, sometimes for hundreds of thousands of dollars, to certain noncitizens in the United States with active orders of removal. While ICE stated that the fines were being assessed on a case-by-case basis, they seemed to be largely targeted at individuals who had sought protection in sanctuary churches.
ICE stated that it intended to work with the Department of Treasury to cancel outstanding debts of those who had been fined. It has not issued any fines since President Biden’s inauguration and does not intend it issue fines going forward.
In announcing the decision. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stated, “We can enforce our immigration laws without resorting to ineffective and unnecessary punitive measures.”
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