ICE will not conduct operations at vaccine distribution sites to encourage access for illegal immigrants

ICE will not conduct operations at vaccine distribution sites to encourage access for illegal immigrants
AP Photo/Gregory Bull
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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has come under new leadership with President Joe Biden, and one of its first new advisories has been supporting access for illegal immigrants to receive coronavirus vaccinations.

To encourage illegal immigrants to be vaccinated against the disease, the DHS says that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection “will not conduct enforcement operations at or near vaccine distribution sites or clinics.”

“ICE does not and will not carry out enforcement operations at or near health care facilities, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, accredited health clinics, and emergent or urgent care facilities, except in the most extraordinary of circumstances,” states the DHS. 

The federal organization stated:

DHS and its Federal government partners fully support equal access to the COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine distribution sites for undocumented immigrants. It is a moral and public health imperative to ensure that all individuals residing in the United States have access to the vaccine. DHS encourages all individuals, regardless of immigration status, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine once eligible under local distribution guidelines.

DHS carries out its mission, including all areas within its COVID-19 response, without discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, or other protected class, and in compliance with law and policy. Further, DHS supports the equitable and efficient distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to all populations, including historically underserved communities.

To reach underserved and rural communities, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in collaboration with federal partners, will coordinate efforts to establish and support fixed facilities, pop-up or temporary vaccination sites, and mobile vaccination clinics. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not conduct enforcement operations at or near vaccine distribution sites or clinics. Consistent with ICE’s long-standing sensitive locations policy, ICE does not and will not carry out enforcement operations at or near health care facilities, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, accredited health clinics, and emergent or urgent care facilities, except in the most extraordinary of circumstances.

DHS is committed to ensuring that every individual who needs a vaccine can get one, regardless of their immigration status.

Efforts to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to illegal immigrants are in line with efforts to establish “herd immunity” to the disease, which has claimed over 443,000 lives in the United States since the pandemic began last year.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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