LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Wednesday that it would temporarily scale back its enforcement operations, effective immediately, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
ICE said in a statement that it would focus on deporting individuals who posed public safety risks and mandatory detention cases for those who have committed crimes.READ MORE: Huntington Beach Police Arrest 2, Seize $3.5 Million Worth Of Drugs In Ongoing Investigation Into Mexico-Based Trafficking Group
The agency said the move was made “to ensure the welfare and safety of the general public as well as officers and agents.”
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— ICE (@ICEgov) March 19, 2020
ICE said agents would “exercise discretion to delay enforcement actions until after the crisis or utilize alternatives to detention, as appropriate.”
The agency did not elaborate on what those alternatives might be.
ICE said agents would not carry out enforcement at or near healthcare facilities such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, health or urgent clinics except “in the most extraordinary circumstances.”
The agency urged individuals not to avoid seeking medical care out of fear of civil immigration enforcement.MORE NEWS: LA Releases New Public Dashboard To Track City Finances
The statement said mission critical investigations and enforcement would continue, including investigations into child exploitation, gangs, narcotics trafficking, human trafficking, human smuggling and continued participation on the Joint Terrorism Task Force.