As Hurricane Harvey was about to hit Texas on Saturday, there were thousands of families who decided to evacuate. However, some families were afraid to evacuate because of a statement made by Immigration and Customs.
In the statement, it stated that some Border Patrol checkpoints will still be open. During this kind of checkpoint, they check for documents that show the person is a legal resident of the U.S.
You can read the whole statement below:
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 our agents. Border Patrol checkpoints that are outside of the path of the hurricane will remain operational. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will remain vigilant against any effort by criminals to exploit disruptions caused by the storm.
CBP’s 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 American Civil Liberties Union of Texas were quick to criticize the agency for not having safety as its first priority.
“Safety should be a priority regardless of immigration status,” Astrid Dominguez, ACLU policy strategist stated. “This is very concerning for the community. It sends a wrong message.”
In a joint statement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), they added that “Routine non-criminal immigration enforcement operations will not be conducted at evacuation sites, or assistance centers such as shelters or food banks.” But “will be vigilant against any effort by criminals to exploit disruptions caused by the storm.”
During other storms, such as for 2012’s Hurricane Isaac and 2016’s Hurricane Matthew, border patrol had temporarily suspended its enforcement procedures.
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