March 18, 2020

WASHINGTON — Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today that the agency will temporarily suspend aspects of interior immigration enforcement, reduce the use of immigration detention and refrain from enforcement operations at or near health care facilities “except in the most extraordinary of circumstances.”

The following is a statement from Andrea Flores, deputy director of American Civil Liberties Union’s equality division: 

“Earlier this month, more than 800 public health and legal experts noted the importance of the government confirming that health care facilities would be ‘immigration enforcement-free zones’ given COVID-19. Now, as the pandemic sweeps our nation, ICE is moving in the right direction by curbing enforcement and using alternatives to detention.

“These directives are an important step towards allowing families and communities to seek help and medical care without the threat of deportation and family separation. More can still be done to both prioritize public health and ensure that people do not fear seeking the medical care they need because of their immigration status.”

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