WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government says it won’t be making routine immigration enforcement arrests at COVID-19 vaccination sites.
Vaccination sites will be considered “sensitive locations” and generally off-limits for enforcement actions, the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.
It says arrests would only be carried out under “the most extraordinary of circumstances.”
It was the latest example of a softer tone on illegal immigration under President Joe Biden, whose administration has quickly moved to reverse major immigration policies of his predecessor.
In its statement, DHS said it encourages everyone “regardless of immigration status” to receive the vaccine when they are eligible and that the agency and its federal partners “fully support equal access to the COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine distribution sites for undocumented immigrants.”
DHS also oversees the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is working with other parts of the federal government to set up vaccination sites around the country.
The U.S. government previously considered health clinics as well as schools and places of worship as sensitive locations where it would generally not carry out enforcement actions. Over the years, that prompted some people to take refuge in churches to avoid deportation.
WASHINGTON (AP) — El gobierno de Estados Unidos dijo que no arrestará a inmigrantes en sitios donde se esté aplicando la vacuna contra el coronavirus.
Los sitios de vacunación serán considerados “sitios sensibles” y no serán blanco del Servicio de Control de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE) excepto bajo “circunstancias extraordinarias”, informó en un comunicado el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional.
El departamento invitó a todos, “sin importar su estatus inmigratorio”, a vacunarse cuando sean elegibles bajo las reglas de su localidad.
El ICE había incluido previamente los sitios de salud, así como las iglesias, entre los lugares sensibles en donde generalmente no se llevarían a cabo arrestos por motivos migratorios.