The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced its support for equal access to the COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine distribution sites for undocumented immigrants.
In a statement, DHS claimed it is "a moral and public health imperative to ensure that all individuals residing in the United States have access to the vaccine."
DHS encouraged all individuals, regardless of immigration status, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine once eligible under local distribution guidelines.
DHS additionally noted that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not conduct enforcement operations at or near vaccine distribution sites or clinics. Consistent with ICE’s long-standing sensitive locations policy, ICE does not and will not carry out enforcement operations at or near health care facilities, such as hospitals, doctors' offices, accredited health clinics, and emergent or urgent care facilities, except in the most extraordinary of circumstances.
DHS carries out its mission, including all areas within its COVID-19 response, without discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, or other protected class, and in compliance with law and policy. Further, DHS supports the equitable and efficient distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to all populations, including historically underserved communities.
To reach underserved and rural communities, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in collaboration with federal partners, will coordinate efforts to establish and support fixed facilities, pop-up or temporary vaccination sites, and mobile vaccination clinics.