On August 25, 2017, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) released a statement in light of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, stating that, routine non-criminal immigration enforcement operations will not be conducted at evacuation sites, or assistance centers, and that detainees from the Port Isabel Detention Center are being temporarily transferred to various other detention facilities.
Read the full text of the press release below. Translations in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Arabic, Urdu and Tagalog available.
As Hurricane Harvey approaches the United States, the Governor of Texas has issued a State of Disaster declaration for 30 counties in Texas, and the Governor of Louisiana has declared a State of Emergency. In light of Hurricane Harvey, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) highest priorities are to promote life-saving and life-sustaining activities, the safe evacuation of people who are leaving the impacted area, the maintenance of public order, the prevention of the loss of property to the extent possible, and the speedy recovery of the region. Anyone in the path of this storm should follow instructions from their local officials and heed any warnings as this dangerous storm approaches.
The Department's law enforcement components will be at the ready to help anyone in need of assistance. In evacuation or response, we are committed to making sure that we can assist local authorities quickly, safely, and efficiently. Routine non-criminal immigration enforcement operations will not be conducted at evacuation sites, or assistance centers such as shelters or food banks. The laws will not be suspended, and we will be vigilant against any effort by criminals to exploit disruptions caused by the storm.
ICE and CBP also seek to provide for the safety and security of those in our custody and to protect them from bodily harm in the event of a hurricane or a major destructive storm. As such, ICE detainees from the Port Isabel Detention Center are being temporarily transferred to various other detention facilities outside the projected path and destruction of the hurricane. In the event of transfers, the detainee's attorney of record is notified, the Online Detainer Locator is updated, and the transfer is temporary in nature.
CBP also released a statement about the status of Border Patrol Checkpoints in the area. According to CBP, U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints in the path of Hurricane Harvey in Texas will close as state highways close. These closures will occur in a manner that ensures the safety of the traveling public and CBP agents. Border Patrol checkpoints that are outside of the path of the hurricane will remain operational. Click here for the complete text of the press release.
In a recent update, CBP provides an assurance that it is actively assisting state and local agencies as well as partners within the Federal government as all seek to alleviate the impact of the storm.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the individuals and families impacted by Hurricane Harvey. If you are affected by this development and would like information about the immigration process, please contact us. We are here to help. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn for up-to-date immigration news.
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