Thursday, March 19, 2020

ICE to stop most immigration enforcement inside U.S.

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Photo courtesy of ICE.gov

Maria Sacchetti and Arelis R. Hernández for the Washington Post report that U.S. immigration authorities have announced that they will temporarily halt enforcement across the United States, except for efforts to deport noncitizens who have committed crimes or who pose a threat to public safety.  It is not clear to me how big a change this is from current policy, which has generally focused on "criminal aliens." 

The change in enforcement status comes amid the coronavirus outbreak. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said yesterdayy that its Enforcement and Removal Operations division will “delay enforcement actions” and use “alternatives to detention” amid the outbreak. ICE told members of Congress that its “highest priorities are to promote lifesaving and public safety activities.”  “During the COVID-19 crisis, ICE will not carry out enforcement operations at or near health care facilities, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, accredited health clinics, and emergent or urgent care facilities, except in the most extraordinary of circumstances,” the notification said. “Individuals should not avoid seeking medical care because they fear civil immigration enforcement.”

Here is the full  "ICE Statement on Covid-19":

"To ensure the welfare and safety of the general public as well as officers and agents in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will temporarily adjust its enforcement posture beginning today, March 18, 2020. ICE's highest priorities are to promote life-saving and public safety activities.

ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) will focus enforcement on public safety risks and individuals subject to mandatory detention based on criminal grounds. For those individuals who do not fall into those categories, ERO will exercise discretion to delay enforcement actions until after the crisis or utilize alternatives to detention, as appropriate.

Homeland Security Investigations will continue to carry out mission critical criminal investigations and enforcement operations as determined necessary to maintain public safety and national security. Examples include investigations into child exploitation, gangs, narcotics trafficking, human trafficking, human smuggling, and continued participation on the Joint Terrorism Task Force. This work will be conducted based on ability to coordinate and work with prosecutors from the Department of Justice and intake at both the U.S. Marshals Service and Bureau of Prisons.

Consistent with its sensitive locations policy, during the COVID-19 crisis, ICE will not carry out enforcement operations at or near health care facilities, such as hospitals, doctors' offices, accredited health clinics, and emergent or urgent care facilities, except in the most extraordinary of circumstances. Individuals should not avoid seeking medical care because they fear civil immigration enforcement."

KJ

 

 

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2020/03/ice-to-stop-most-immigration-enforcement-inside-us.html

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