Border Patrol Will Keep Checkpoints Open During Hurricane Harvey

As thousands prepare to evacuate due to Hurricane Harvey, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said it is not planning to close its roadside immigration checkpoints north of the Rio Grande Valley unless there is a danger to travelers or its agents. “We’re not going to impede anybody getting out of here, but at the same time we’re a law enforcement agency, so we still have to conduct our duties,” CBP Public Affairs Officer Roberto Rodríguez said. The agency’s decision comes the same day Brownsville Mayor Tony Martínez issued a disaster declaration for the city. And with colonias -- informal communities populated mostly by Latino residents -- in the hurricane’s path, many are worried that immigration fears could endanger the lives of undocumented immigrants. “Safety should be a priority regardless of immigration status,” said ACLU policy strategist Astrid Domínguez. “This is very concerning for the community. It sends a wrong message.” Domínguez said that if the hurricane intensified and a mass evacuation was ordered, she was hopeful that the federal government would ease up on enforcement as it did in 2016, during evacuations for Hurricane Matthew. More here from the Texas Tribune.

Brenda Arredondo