After President Trump announced on Tuesday that he was willing to let the government shutdown if Congress didn’t appropriate money to build his border wall, and story after story about other ways undocumented immigrants are being targeted by the Trump administration, the U.S. Border Patrol could probably use some good PR. Unfortunately, Border Patrol doesn’t think so as the agency announced that checkpoints in Texas are set to remain open during Hurricane Harvey.
“Border Patrol checkpoints will not be closed unless there is a danger to the safety of the traveling public and our agents. Border Patrol resources, including personnel and transportation, will be deployed on an as needed basis to augment the efforts and capabilities of local-response authorities,” the agency said in a statement.
A Border Patrol spokesman said that the agency would prioritize public safety during the hurricane and assist in evacuation procedures if called upon, but wouldn’t ignore their “mission” (rounding up and deporting people/homeland security) during the first hurricane set to make landfall with the U.S. in 12 years. So, undocumented immigrants fleeing a hurricane should be wary that their attempts to reach safety could get them deported.
“Safety should be a priority regardless of immigration status,” said ACLU policy strategist Astrid Dominguez. “This is very concerning for the community. It sends a wrong message.”
In 2012 and 2016, prior to Hurricanes Matthew and Issac, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (a different law enforcement agency) suspended enforcement operations during evacuation periods.
(Via Texas Tribune)