WASHINGTON - As Hurricane Nate makes landfall, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi are currently under states of emergency. In light of Hurricane Nate, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) highest priorities are to promote life-saving and life-sustaining activities, the safe evacuation of people who are leaving the impacted area, the maintenance of public order, the prevention of the loss of property to the extent possible, and the speedy recovery of the region.
Anyone in the path of this storm should follow instructions from their local officials and heed any warnings as this dangerous storm approaches. History shows that storm tracks can change quickly and unexpectedly. Residents and visitors in areas potentially affected by the severe weather in the central Gulf Coast, should monitor local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information, and follow the instructions of state, local, and tribal officials.
The Department's law enforcement components will be at the ready to help anyone in need of assistance. In evacuation or response, we are committed to making sure that we can assist local authorities quickly, safely, and efficiently. Routine non-criminal immigration enforcement operations will not be conducted at evacuation sites, or assistance centers such as shelters or food banks. The laws will not be suspended, and we will be vigilant against any effort by criminals to exploit disruptions caused by the storm.
ICE and CBP also seek to provide for the safety and security of those in our custody and to protect them from bodily harm in the event of a hurricane or a major destructive storm. At this time, there has not been an evacuation order issued necessitating the movement of ICE detainees from local facilities. ICE will continue to monitor the storm’s progress and any issued evacuation orders. In the event transfers of detainees becomes necessary, the detainee’s attorney of record is notified, the Online Detainer Locator is updated, and the transfers would be temporary in nature.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.