There has been a lot of confusion and anxiety about where Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can and cannot enter when pursuing possible detainees. It is important to understand what public buildings and institutions are safe spaces, ones in which ICE agents are not allowed in or to set up in a nearby vicinity.
The following are places in which ICE cannot come into or set up directly outside of:
- Schools, including licensed daycares, pre-schools, or other early learning programs; primary, secondary, and post-secondary schools including colleges and universities; education-related events and activities; and marked school bus stops when children are present.
- Medical treatment and healthcare facilities, including hospitals, doctors’ offices, accredited health clinics, and urgent care facilities.
- Houses of worship, including churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples.
- Religious or civil ceremonies or observance, including funerals and weddings.
- Spaces used for a public demonstration, including march, rally, or parade.
Courthouses do not technically fall under this category, though ICE states that enforcement action there “will only be executed against individuals falling within the public safety priorities of DHS’s immigration enforcement priorities set forth in the November 20, 2014, memorandum from Secretary Johnson…Such enforcement actions will, absent exigent circumstances, not lead to arrest of non-targeted individuals and will, wherever practicable, take place outside of public areas of the courthouse.”
The Department of Homeland Security has recently stated that these spaces, which they refer to as “sensitive locations,” will remain as such for the time being. However, there have been recent incidents where people have been detained by ICE near churches and courthouses, so this may soon change.
If you see ICE agents or vans anywhere on Long Island, report it to the ICE sightings hotline at (516) 387-2043.