WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that it will not be closing its checkpoints during hurricane Harvey in Texas.
Lorella Praeli, American Civil Liberties Union director of immigration policy and campaigns, said:
“As people seek refuge from hurricane Harvey, they are likely to have to go north or west of Texas and would have to go through a checkpoint. By keeping checkpoints open, the Border Patrol is putting undocumented people and mixed-status families at risk out of fear of deportations.
“This is a disgusting move from the Border Patrol that breaks with past practices. The Border Patrol should never keep checkpoints open during any natural disasters in the United States. Everyone, no matter the color of their skin or background, is worth saving.”
Astrid Dominguez, ACLU of Texas policy strategist, said:
“At a time of emergency, CBP must prioritize safety for everyone who lives in Texas. It is unconscionable that the Border Patrol is sending a dangerous, wrong message to our community by refusing to temporarily suspend immigration enforcement during an evacuation, as they did in 2016 and 2012. We call on CBP to put public safety first and ensure that, no matter their status, families who wish to leave the area can do so unimpeded.”