Agency announces new ‘enforcement posture’

ICE scaling back operations due to coronavirus

Source: Dan Lyman

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has temporarily scaled back operations during the Chinese coronavirus outbreak.

The agency announced a revised “enforcement posture,” asserting its “highest priorities are to promote life-saving and public safety activities.”

“ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) will focus enforcement on public safety risks and individuals subject to mandatory detention based on criminal grounds,” ICE explained in a press release.

“For those individuals who do not fall into those categories, ERO will exercise discretion to delay enforcement actions until after the crisis or utilize alternatives to detention, as appropriate.”

Investigations into gang activity, child exploitation, drug and human trafficking, and human smuggling will continue to be carried out by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations arm.

Agents will not execute 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,” in accordance with its ‘sensitive locations policy’ amid the COVID-19 emergency.