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    A rescue boat evacuates people from the rising waters of Buffalo Bayou following Hurricane Harvey in a neighborhood west of Houston, Texas, U.S., August 30, 2017

    Beware: As Hurricane Harvey Ravages, Fake Federal Agents Evict and Rob People

    © REUTERS / Carlo Allegri
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    Hurricane Harvey Hits US (63)

    The US' Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a warning on those who try to capitalize on Hurricane Harvey by posing as Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents.

    "There are disturbing reports that people impersonating HSI special agents are knocking on doors in the Houston area telling residents to evacuate, presumably so these imposters can rob the empty homes," according to an ICE statement.

    ICE recalled that all those officers who represent the HSI should wear "special agent" badges which "members of the public can ask to see and verify."

    Additionally, ICE drew attention to the fact that it isn't engaging "immigration enforcement operations in the affected area during Hurricane Harvey relief efforts."

    Earlier ICE, jointly with the US' Customs and Border Protection (CBP), issued a statement that "routine non-criminal immigration enforcement operations will not be conducted at evacuation sites, or assistance centers such as shelters or food banks.

    "The laws will not be suspended, and we will be vigilant against any effort by criminals to exploit disruptions caused by the storm," the statement said.

    Last Friday, Hurricane Harvey hit Texas as a category four storm, affecting mainly the southeastern part of the state, including the city of Houston, in addition to southwestern part of the state of Louisiana.

    Up to 30 people have died as a result of the hurricane, according to media reports on Wednesday.

    Harvey is the largest storm to hit the United States since the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina slammed into southern Louisiana and neighboring Mississippi in 2005, inundating New Orleans.

    Talking about the extent of the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, Jim Blackburn, professor of environmental law at Rice University, told Sputnik that at least 20,000 homes had been evacuated and that it will take many months to make them livable again.

    Storm Harvey may cost the United States a record $160 billion, or 1 percent of its gross national product, according to AccuWeather estimates cited by USA Today.

    Hurricane Harvey Hits US (63)


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