USCIS, CBP, and ICE responses to the Uvalde shooting

People with legal status in the U.S. do not think about immigration consequences when it comes to tragedies such as Uvalde, but immigration issues are a part of this. DHS which encompasses CBP, ICE, and USCIS)  has issued two statements relating to the shooting.

Before I discuss these statements, I would like to explain the separate roles of USCIS, CBP, and ICE. All of these are in the DHS areas of responsibility. 

CBP – Customs and Border Patrol is one of the world’s largest law enforcement organizations and is charged with keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. while facilitating lawful international travel and trade.

ICE – Immigration and Customs Enforcement works to target public safety threats, such as convicted criminal undocumented individuals and gang members, as well as those who have otherwise violated the immigration laws. They are the principal investigative component of DHS and are responsible for investigating, disrupting, and dismantling transnational criminal organizations and terrorist networks that threaten or seek to exploit the customs and immigration laws of the U.S. 

USICS is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. They are funded by filing fees – not by taxes. 

On May 27th USCIS delivered a statement reminding the public that they offer immigration services that may help people affected by unforeseen circumstances, including the shooting in Uvalde. These include:

  • Changing a nonimmigrant status or extending a nonimmigrant stay for an individual currently in the United States. If you fail to apply for the extension or change before the expiration of your authorized period of admission, we may excuse that if the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control;
  • Expedited adjudication of petitions or applications, including employment authorization applications, when appropriate;
  • Consideration of fee waiver requests due to an inability to pay;
  • Flexibility for those who received a Request for Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny but were unable to submit evidence or otherwise respond in a timely manner;
  • Flexibility if you were unable to appear for a scheduled interview with USCIS;
  • Expedited replacement of lost or damaged immigration or travel documents issued by USCIS, such as a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card), Employment Authorization Document, or Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record; and
  • Rescheduling a biometric services appointment.

It is so nice to see USCIS reaching out to tell people how they can help with immigration services. Service is part of their name and new mission statement.  The mission statement is “USCIS upholds America’s promise as a nation of welcome and possibility with fairness, integrity, and respect for all we serve” 

On May 25th ICE and CBP released a statement reminding the public that sites that provide emergency response and relief are considered protected areas. The statement said “To the fullest extent possible, ICE and CBP do not conduct immigration enforcement activities in protected areas such as along evacuation routes, sites used for sheltering or the distribution of emergency supplies, food or water, or registration sites for disaster-related assistance or the reunification of families and loved ones. ICE and CBP provide emergency assistance to individuals regardless of their immigration status. DHS officials do not and will not pose as individuals providing emergency-related information as part of any enforcement activities. The site of the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas is a protected area. To the fullest extent possible, ICE and CBP will not conduct immigration enforcement activities there so that individuals, regardless of immigration status, can seek assistance, reunify with family, and loved ones, and otherwise address the tragedy that occurred.

Linda M Kaplan
Latest posts by Linda M Kaplan (see all)