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Border Patrol Says Checkpoints Will Remain Open During Hurricane Harvey

Border Patrol checkpoints, like this one in Arizona, are a fact of life for thousands of undocumented immigrants and their families in a Rio Grande Valley. They exist adult to 100 miles north of a border.

Matt York/AP


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Matt York/AP

Border Patrol checkpoints, like this one in Arizona, are a fact of life for thousands of undocumented immigrants and their families in a Rio Grande Valley. They exist adult to 100 miles north of a border.

Matt York/AP

Updated during 5:06 p.m.

As Hurricane Harvey bears down on a Gulf Coast, a U.S. Border Patrol says it skeleton to keep a immigration checkpoints in Texas open in annoy of a storm. That’s call regard that immigrants vital in a nation illegally will omit instructions to leave for fear that they’ll be held and deported.

“Border Patrol checkpoints will not be sealed unless there is a risk to a reserve of a roving open and a agents,” according to a matter from Customs and Border Protection that was initial reported Thursday by a Texas Tribune.

“The Border Patrol is a law coercion group and we will not desert a law coercion duties,” a matter said.

Border Patrol checkpoints adult to 100 miles north of a limit are a fact of life for thousands of undocumented immigrants and their families in a Rio Grande Valley. These people can’t transport north for fear of being held during a checkpoints. But they don’t wish to lapse to Mexico, either.

The hollow is deliberate a vital mezzanine for drug smugglers and tellurian traffickers, and a interior checkpoints are executive to a Border Patrol’s coercion efforts.

Illegal Border Crossings Are Down, And So Is Business For Smugglers

But those checkpoints also poise a problem for undocumented immigrants who live in a trail of Hurricane Harvey. The charge is approaching to make landfall nearby Refugio, Texas, late Friday or early Saturday morning.

“By gripping checkpoints open, a Border Patrol is putting undocumented people and mixed-status families during risk out of fear of deportations,” pronounced Lorella Praeli of a American Civil Liberties Union in a statement.

“The Border Patrol should never keep checkpoints open during any healthy disasters in a United States. Everyone, no matter a tone of their skin or background, is value saving,” Praeli said. “This is a outrageous pierce from a Border Patrol that breaks with past practices.”

During Hurricane Matthew in 2016, CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement expelled a joint statement announcing that there would “no immigration coercion initiatives compared with evacuations or sheltering associated to Matthew, including a use of checkpoints for immigration coercion functions in impacted areas during an evacuation.”

CBP and ICE expelled a identical corner matter about Hurricane Harvey on Friday. But a denunciation was some-more obscure than final year’s guidance.

In a new statement, ICE and CBP urged everybody in a trail of a charge to follow depletion instructions from internal authorities. And a agencies offering assurances that “routine non-criminal immigration coercion operations will not be conducted during depletion sites, or assistance centers such as shelters or food banks.”

But a matter also enclosed this warning: “The laws will not be suspended, and we will be observant opposite any bid by criminals to feat disruptions caused by a storm.”

UPDATE: Friday afternoon, CBP expelled another matter indicating that “Border Patrol checkpoints in a trail of Hurricane Harvey in Texas will tighten as state highways close. These closures will start in a demeanour that ensures a reserve of a roving open and a agents.”