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A branch of ICE is present in Uvalde, Texas, to assist with the investigation. Border Patrol agents also responded to the scene.
But DHS said that its officers in Uvalde are not carrying out immigration enforcement.
After a gunman killed at least 19 students and two teachers in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, social media posts claimed that the presence of immigration authorities on scene meant some parents could face deportation if they showed up to the school.
One tweet claimed: "ICE is on the scene of a shooting that took place in a heavily Hispanic school so undocumented parents have to consider arrest deportation before they go check to see if their kids are alive." The May 24 tweet amassed thousands of likes and retweets within hours.
PolitiFact Texas decided to fact-check whether U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers were present in Uvalde and whether the tweet was correct about parents being at risk of deportation as they went looking for their children.
An ICE spokesperson told PolitiFact that it is not carrying out immigration enforcement in Uvalde. A branch of ICE is there to support the investigations.
A May 25 statement from the Department of Homeland Security said Uvalde is a "protected area," which means those agencies do not conduct immigration enforcement there during the emergency event. Examples of protected areas are evacuation routes, sites for sheltering or distributing emergency supplies, or registration sites for disaster-related assistance or reunification of families.
DHS also said these agencies will provide emergency assistance regardless of a person’s immigration status.
"To the fullest extent possible, ICE and (Customs and Border Protection) 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," DHS said.
CBP’s Border Patrol agents responded to the shooting and provided medical aid, DHS tweeted May 24.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on May 25 also said that Border Patrol agents and other agencies' officers converged on the classroom to confront the shooter, and that a Border Patrol officer killed the gunman.
A tweet claimed that ICE is in Uvalde, Texas, "so undocumented parents have to consider arrest deportation before they go check to see if their kids are alive."
A branch of ICE is on scene to support the investigation as needed. However, ICE officers who carry out immigration enforcement are not on scene to deport people.
We rate this claim False.
Tweets from Housing 4 All is Hot (@house4all), May 24, 2022
Tweet by Homeland Security (@DHSgov), May 24, 2022
Tweet by Marsha (Catron) Espinosa (@MCatronDHS), May 24, 2022
Phone call with an ICE spokesperson, May 24, 2022
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, "Legal authority for the Border Patrol," April 27, 2021
U.S. Department of Homeland Security, "DHS Statement on Safety and Enforcement Following Shooting in Uvalde, Texas," May 25, 2022
KSAT, reposted to Austin American-Statesman, "Gov. Greg Abbott held a press conference about the Uvalde school shooting," May, 25, 2022
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