Chairwoman Roybal-Allard Statement on ICE Enforcement News
House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) issued the following response to news that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will not carry out enforcement operations at or near health care facilities during the coronavirus crisis:
"Our government should never, ever force anyone, including immigrants, to put their lives, or the lives of their loved ones or neighbors, at risk by avoiding medical care. During the COVID-19 public health crisis, it is imperative for all Americans, regardless of immigration status, to be unafraid of seeking medical attention. In conversations with ICE officials today, I alerted them to the dangers of enforcement efforts at sensitive locations like health care facilities, and they have started to address these concerns by issuing the directive below."
The full notification from ICE is below.
"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 child exploitation, gangs, narcotics trafficking, human trafficking, human smuggling, and 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.
"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."