Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that the agency would stop most deportations of illegal aliens except for those who are a “safety risk” or who are under a deportation order because of their criminal history.
They also said they would not carry out enforcement actions near hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other healthcare facilities.
“During the COVID-19 crisis, ICE will not carry out enforcement operations at or near health care facilities, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, accredited health clinics, and emergent or urgent care facilities, except in the most extraordinary of circumstances,” the agency said. “Individuals should not avoid seeking medical care because they fear civil immigration enforcement.”
The statement added the agency would seek alternatives to detention but didn’t say what might happen to the approximately 37,000 current immigration detainees, The Washington Post reported.
The agency said it would continue critical investigations into child exploitation, gangs, narcotics trafficking, human trafficking and terrorism.
Pro-illegal alien activists are demanding ICE release those 37,000 detainees because…virus. The only problem they have is that no detainees have yet tested positive for the coronavirus.
But the immigration courts will be almost completely shut down, except for those cases already on the docket. The activists are suing the Justice Department, clamoring for them to release the illegal aliens.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Washington and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project also sued ICE on behalf of immigrants detained at the Tacoma Northwest Detention Center in Washington state who the lawyers said were at high risk of an infection.
“Immigrant detention centers are institutions that uniquely heighten the danger of disease transmission,” Eunice Cho, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Prison Project, said in a statement when the lawsuit was filed Monday. “Public health experts have warned that failing to reduce the number of people detained — and in particular, failing to release those particularly vulnerable to the disease — endangers the lives of everyone in the detention facility, including staff, and the broader community.”
Never let a crisis go to waste, right?
I suppose it makes sense to release people. That many people crowded into a confined area would be an invitation to disaster. Thousands of cases would result and hundreds of deaths. Releasing almost all the detainees is preferable to the humanitarian — and PR — disaster if large numbers of illegal aliens contracted the virus.