National Immigration Law Center
Sign up for email updates.

Our mission is to defend & advance the rights & opportunities of low-income immigrants and their family members.

Letter from ICE and Customs & Border Protection


AUGUST 27, 2012


Letter from Immigration & Customs Enforcement and Customs & Border Protection as Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isaac Approached Florida and the Gulf Coast

This letter (PDF) was sent by ICE and CBP to “stakeholder” organizations as Isaac approached Florida and the Gulf Coast in late August, 2012.

This letter is the latest in a series of ad-hoc letters that agencies within the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) have issued in lieu of issuing a standing written policy (PDF) clarifying that immigration enforcement will not be undertaken in association with disaster preparedness, response, or recovery, as stakeholder organizations have urged DHS to do

The following is an excerpt from this latest letter (PDF):

In the event that Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isaac (Isaac) triggers the need for an officially ordered evacuation or an emergency government response, 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 lifesustaining 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.

As such, there will be no immigration enforcement initiatives associated with evacuations or sheltering related to Isaac, including the use of checkpoints for immigration enforcement purposes in impacted areas during an evacuation.