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Immigrants who want to enter the U.S. illegally can learn how and where to avoid the Border Patrol from an advisory on the agency's own website, which critics say is evidence of the Obama administration's "schizophrenic" approach to enforcement. Safety and sanctuary can generally be found at schools, churches, hospitals and protests, where Customs and Border Protection agents are barred under a "sensitive locations policy" from carrying out their duty of enforcing border security.
In fact, the agency’s website states that actions at such locations can only be undertaken in an emergency or with a supervisor’s approval. “The policies are meant to ensure that ICE and CBP officers and agents exercise sound judgment when enforcing federal law at or focused on sensitive locations, to enhance the public understanding and trust, and to ensure that people seeking to participate in activities or utilize services provided at any sensitive location are free to do so, without fear or hesitation,”
the government website states in both English and Spanish. Agents are not allowed to contact a suspected illegal immigrant in a "sensitive location" under the department's guidelines.....
critics, including the Media Research Center, say it also tells illegal border crossers where to go if they are being pursued. Agents are barred from interviewing, searching or arresting suspected illegal immigrants in such locations.
“So, almost any illegal alien can escape arrest by either walking with a second person (a march), attending some type of class, or finding a nearby church, medical facility or school bus stop,” the Center wrote in a post bringing the advisory to light.
A “Frequently Asked Questions” section explains in detail what the Customs and Border Patrol’s parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, considers safe zones for illegal immigrants. Schools, such as known and licensed day cares, pre-schools and other early learning programs; primary schools; secondary schools; post-secondary schools up to and including colleges and universities; as well as scholastic or education-related activities or events, and school bus stops that are marked and/or known to the officer, during periods when school children are present at the stop; Medical treatment and health care facilities, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, accredited health clinics, and emergent or urgent care facilities; Places of worship, such as churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples; Religious or civil ceremonies or observances, such as funerals and weddings; During public demonstration, such as a march, rally, or parade.
Enforcement actions may occur at sensitive locations in limited circumstances, but will generally be avoided. ICE or CBP officers and agents may conduct an enforcement action at a sensitive location with prior approval from an appropriate supervisory official, or if the enforcement action involves exigent circumstances.