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Lankford Stands Up for Border Patrol and ICE Personnel

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Following the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) release of its long-awaited “Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law,” Senator James Lankford (R-OK) expressed support for our law enforcement personnel who have told him they feel they are “handcuffed” by DHS leadership who tells them what immigration laws they can and can’t enforce. The new guidelines, which refer to illegal immigrants as simply “noncitizens,” replace the interim priorities issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Tae Johnson in February and take effect November 29, 2021. 

“On behalf of our federal law enforcement personnel, I have asked repeatedly for clear guidance on the detention and deportation processes so they feel confident in their application and enforcement of the law,” said Lankford. “While the guidelines offer more direction to our law enforcement, I am concerned about the requirement for a ‘full assessment’ of the illegal immigrant and the mitigating issues like being the head of a household or being illegally present for a long time. I’m concerned we’re more worried about people’s perceptions in this process than we are with clearly and diligently enforcing the law.”

Lankford spoke on the Senate floor to advocate for enforcing our laws at the border and ensuring we stop the flow of illegal immigrants. Lankford participated in a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing with DHS Secretary Mayorkas to get an update on the timeline for receiving these guidelines. Lankford has been told by the Secretary they are “coming.” 

Lankford held a press conference with Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado to discuss Lankford’s blistering report of the $2 billion Biden has wasted to not build the wall, the ongoing national security threat at our southern border, and the Biden Administration “handcuffing” border law enforcement personnel.