After Criticism, Border Patrol Announces It Will Close Immigration Checkpoints In Path Of Hurricane Harvey

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As Texas braces for Hurricane Harvey, officials have encouraged some residents to evacuate.

The hurricane, which has already made landfall in Corpus Christi and as of now has been upgraded to a category 3 hurricane, is expected to bring as much as 52 inches of rain in some areas through Wednesday.

“This is really going to stretch the emergency services in the state of Texas in the days ahead,” CNN meteorologist Tom Sater said.

For those people who have chosen not to evacuate, have taken precautions by getting supplies and boarding up their homes.

With so much chaos, you’d think that certain law enforcement would clear the streets to make room for serious emergencies, but that is not the case.

In some parts of Texas, the U.S. Border Patrol will still have checkpoints open.

NPR reports that the Border Patrol has “checkpoints up to 100 miles north of the border.” Typically, the undocumented immigrants that live in the area known as the Rio Grande Valley stay put in order to avoid the Border Patrol.

As Hurricane Harvey nears, undocumented immigrants that want to evacuate and remain out of harms away are now stuck. They can try to leave and get detained by the Border Patrol, or they can travel south back to Mexico.

The American Civil Liberties Union said the Border Patrol’s move to stay open was “disgusting.”

“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,” Lorella Praeli, ACLU director of immigration policy and campaigns, said in a statement. “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.”

This is the first time the Border Patrol has chosen not to close checkpoints during a hurricane.

According to NPR, ICE said that they will not make detainments at “evacuation sites, or assistance centers such as shelters or food banks,” but they will, however, enforce the law elsewhere.

“The laws will not be suspended, and we will be vigilant against any effort by criminals to exploit disruptions caused by the storm.”

Undocumented immigrants who chose not to evacuate out of fear of being deported now face an even bigger danger.

UPDATE:The Border Patrol just released a new statement saying they will close checkpoints that are in the path of the hurricane.

The Border Patrol just released a new statement on Friday afternoon, saying they will close checkpoints that are in the path of the hurricane.

“These closures will occur in a manner that ensures the safety of the traveling public and our agents. Border Patrol checkpoints that are outside of the path of the hurricane will remain operational.”

 

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