U.S. immigration authorities will temporarily halt enforcement across the United States, except for efforts to deport foreign nationals who have committed crimes or who pose a threat to public safety. The change in enforcement status comes amid the coronavirus outbreak and aims to limit the spread of the virus and to encourage those who need treatment to seek medical help…

“During the COVID-19 crisis, ICE 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,” the notification said. “Individuals should not avoid seeking medical care because they fear civil immigration enforcement.”

The agency, which is a part of the Department of Homeland Security, did not immediately respond to questions about how many of the approximately 37,000 detainees it has in custody will remain there. Nearly 20,000 in ICE custody have some sort of criminal history, but it remained unclear how many of those people have serious criminal violations in their past.