The Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), released guidance related to the effects of Hurricane Ian.
OFLC issued disaster guidance on September 29, 2022, regarding reasonable case accommodations in light of the damage done by Hurricane Ian.
Among other things, the guidance notes that the most effective means of communicating with OFLC is through the Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) or PERM Case Management System for each OFLC program. For employers or authorized attorneys or agents who are unable to communicate with OFLC through FLAG or the PERM system, the guidance provides alternative methods of contacting OFLC.
DHS issued guidance on September 28, 2022, reminding the public that ICE and CBP provide emergency assistance to individuals regardless of immigration status, and that DHS officials do not pose as individuals providing emergency-related information as part of any enforcement activity. Further, sites providing emergency response and relief are considered “protected areas.” DHS said that to the fullest extent possible, ICE and CBP “do not conduct immigration enforcement activities at protected areas such as along evacuation routes, sites used for sheltering or the distribution of emergency supplies, food or water, or registration sites for disaster-related assistance or the reunification of families and loved ones.”