October 29, 2012
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) were told to concentrate on saving lives and property and not to pursue immigration enforcement activities during evacuations ordered ahead of Hurricane Sandy.
The massive east coast storm threatens millions from Washington D.C. to Boston. New York City, as well as dozens of coastal communities up and down the east coast, implemented mandatory evacuation zones as the storm neared landfall on Oct. 29, moving hundreds of thousands of people out of potentially dangerous areas.
In a joint Oct. 26 memo to ICE and CBP personnel, ICE acting deputy director Daniel Ragsdale and CBP, chief operating officer Thomas Winkowski said their agencies’ “highest priorities are to promote life-saving and life-sustaining activities, the safe evacuation of people who are leaving the impacted area, the maintenance of public order, the prevention of the loss of property to the extent possible, and the speedy recovery of the impacted region.”