ICE Stands Down in Houston Area

"Our priority in the hurricane-stricken areas is saving lives," ICE said in a statement

Immigration agents have not arrested any non-criminal immigrants in the Houston area in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, an agency spokesman told NBC News.

The suspension of arrests is a step beyond the promise made by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ahead of the storm. On Friday, the agency said "routine non-criminal immigration enforcement operations will not be conducted at evacuation sites, or assistance centers such as shelters or food banks."

"Our priority in the hurricane-stricken areas is saving lives," ICE said in a statement. "While we’re not conducting immigration enforcement in affected areas, we will not allow criminal enterprises to take advantage of the situation, and ICE personnel will remain vigilant toward such activities."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that people in need were not being asked to produce their papers. 

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