Democratic lawmakers will introduce Wednesday a invoice to require federal immigration authorities to droop their enforcement duties in areas affected by main pure disasters.
One of the invoice’s predominant sponsors, Rep. Nannette Barragan (D-Calif.), stated the laws is “a response to what we saw happen in Texas,” the place many immigrants — documented and undocumented — reported being petrified of following evacuation directions in August throughout Hurricane Harvey, as a result of they may encounter immigration officers.
“We want people to listen to authorities” throughout pure disasters, Barragan added.
Under the invoice, co-sponsored by Rep. Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenHome eyes new likelihood to reform surveillance Privacy activists notched wins in 2015 however concern shift in tide Three methods to enhance employment-based inexperienced playing cards MORE (D-Calif.), immigration enforcement actions could be suspended in areas the place the president has declared a serious catastrophe or emergency below the Stafford Act.
That would power businesses like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to droop immigration enforcement operations and initiatives.
The invoice would additionally forestall state regulation enforcement businesses, when tasked with immigration enforcement, from performing these duties in these circumstances.
Barragan stated folks in Texas acquired a “mixed message” throughout Harvey, as federal authorities refused to droop immigration enforcement or briefly shut down immigration checkpoints, however pledged to not conduct routine noncriminal immigration enforcement at shelters and evacuation websites.
ICE and CBP officers badisted in life-saving measures, however the businesses didn’t droop their standing directives to course of any undocumented immigrant encountered within the perform of their duties.
Some Hispanic residents of affected areas reportedly refused to maneuver north throughout the catastrophe, fearing they’d be stopped at checkpoints.
The confusion led to concern and even stories of third events imitating ICE officers in catastrophe areas to burglarize properties.
The invoice presently has 10 Democratic co-sponsors, and Barragan stated she had seen “initial interest” from some Republicans.