As Hurricane Florence threatens to bring destruction to the Carolinas and Virginia, many are being forced to evacuate. But with a looming danger, many undocumented immigrants may not seek the help they need because of fear of deportation. Today, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told Univision there would be no immigration enforcement (either for those evacuating or those seeking refuge in shelters) in the states affected by the storm.
The agency told the network that safety was its priority. There was no further information on ICE’s specific plans for the storm. Remezcla reached out to the agency for more answers and received a statement: “US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are concerned about the potential impact of Hurricane Florence to the East Coast of the United States, where North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia are under states of emergency. Our highest priority remains the preservation of life and safety. In consideration of these circumstances, there will be no immigration enforcement initiatives associated with evacuations or sheltering related to Florence, except in the event of a serious public safety threat.”
And while this might offer a bit of comfort to some, it’s understandable why others will remain wary. ICE does have a history of harming this community.
But as the storm approaches, all anyone can do is be prepared as possible. Check out this checklist by El Pueblo, a resource for North Carolina’s Latino community, below.