Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Friday it does “not conduct immigration enforcement operations at hurricane evacuation sites or shelters, such as during and immediately after hurricanes,” as Hurricane Dorian barrels toward Florida.
Hurricane Dorian is expected to strengthen into a Category 4 hurricane before making landfall in Florida. Authorities are urging residents to stockpile a week’s worth of food and supplies as the hurricane gathers strength.
During or after hurricanes, it’s common practice for ICE, the immigration enforcement agency, to suspend operations. Still, fear often looms over undocumented immigrants who are concerned authorities may arrest them when checking into shelters due to their immigration status.
“A crisis such as the devastation and destruction caused by a hurricane is not a time to compound one tragedy upon another by spreading fear in our community with false rumors of ICE operations,” the agency said in a statement. “Instead we must stand as one community to focus on aiding the victims.”