Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has issued a statement on COVID-19 regarding their continuing immigration enforcement efforts. ICE has temporarily adjusted its enforcement priorities to focus solely on immigrants who are public safety risks and those who are subject to mandatory detention due to criminal activity. If immigrants do not fall into one of those categories, ICE officers have the discretion to delay enforcement action concerning these issues until after the COVID-19 crisis has ceased. They also have the authority to utilize alternatives to detention, such as ankle monitors and similar measures.
ICE officers will continue to work on criminal investigations and enforcement necessary to safeguard the public and national security. These operations may concern issues related to gang activity, drug trafficking, child exploitation, and human trafficking, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Bureau of Prisons.
ICE also will not be carrying out enforcement operations at health care facilities, including hospitals, doctors’ offices, health clinics, and urgent care facilities, except in extraordinary circumstances. This is consistent with their previous commitment to avoid using sensitive locations as bases for immigration enforcement operations. The primary purpose of this statement is to encourage immigrants to seek medical care as needed without fear of civil immigration enforcement.
ICE also has taken other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, particularly in their detention facilities. They have banned social visitation at all immigration detention facilities and are actively implementing all COVID-19 protocols.
The immigration attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience that you need when you are seeking any relief or benefit under federal immigration laws. We will determine the facts and evidence that are relevant to your case, evaluate your options, and help you decide the best course of action for your situation. We intend to place you in the best position possible to achieve your goals. Contact our Texas immigration attorneys at our office today and learn how we can assist you through this complicated situation.