The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are deploying to Florida to help assist Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as well as state and local law enforcement in areas affected by Hurricane Dorian.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is concerned about the potential impact of Hurricane Dorian to Florida, where the governor has declared a state of emergency in several coastal counties. CBP’s highest priority remains the preservation of life and safety,” an agency official told the Washington Examiner in a statement.
CBP is being utilized because their equipment, especially boats and airplanes, are critical during a natural disaster. Boats, especially, can be utilized to patrol areas and rescue those who are stranded.
Throughout the week, agents have made their way to Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
????WE ARE U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION— CBP Florida (@CBPFlorida) August 28, 2019
Office of Field Operations | Air and Marine Operations | U.S. Border Patrol
Learn more about CBP Region IV and how @CBPCaribbean @CBPSoutheast supports a far-reaching network of @fema partners during emergencies. https://t.co/DtW6nKk3Qv pic.twitter.com/ils07ErGVk
More agents will be deployed to areas impacted by the hurricane as FEMA makes specific requests for personnel and equipment.
CBP Region IV provides communications and coordination for all CBP surface, land and air assets in Region IV which includes Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands during major disasters and national emergencies.
The agency's Region IV – which includes Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands – provides communications and coordination during major disasters and national emergencies for all land and air assets in those areas.
CBP has utilized these resources during other natural disasters that have ravaged the southeastern United States and Puerto Rico over the last few years, as described in a press release:
CBP’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO) aircrews from the Miami Air and Marine Branch, Jacksonville Air and Marine Branch and National Air Security Operations Center – Jacksonville have deployed for a number of complex response and recovery efforts following destructive hurricanes over the last few years in Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and the Carolinas. Air and Marine Operations transports vital supplies during humanitarian flights and actively supports relief operations and assessments.
CBP’s Office of Field Operations in Florida includes more than 2,500 front-line federal officers, agricultural specialists, trade and mission support personnel securing over 1,200 miles of the coastal border and providing travel and trade facilitation. U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) and Office of Field Operations (OFO) teams from Region IV deploy during major disasters providing specialized expertise, equipment—and helping those in need.
Although operations around the country will continue as normal, routine immigration enforcement operations will be suspended in places hurricane hit areas.
“In consideration of these circumstances, CBP will suspend routine immigration enforcement operations in affected areas, except in the event of a serious public safety threat," the official said. "Likewise, immigration enforcement will not be conducted along evacuation routes, nor at assistance centers such as shelters or food banks."