The Trump administration on Sunday started immigration raids targeted at about 20,000 families in 10 US cities across the US.
Although there have only been reports of a handful of arrests and not the massive raids that had been reported to take place and that immigrants had feared, immigration advocates are offering tips to immigrants, both documented and undocumented, on dealing with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and other law enforcement agencies.
While immigration lawyers say it is impossible for the administration to arrest and deport millions of people, they urge those with open deportation cases or questions with their immigration status to consult with immigration law experts as soon as possible to avoid being caught up as part of any possible future raids.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) advices immigrants that they have Constitutionally guaranteed rights regardless of their immigration status. The ACLU advices the following if by any chance ICE knocks on your door (other you have a current legal immigration status in the US or not):
- Stay calm and keep the door closed. ICE should not come inside your door without permission. If police have an arrest warrant, they are legally allowed to enter the home of the person on the warrant if they believe that person is inside. But a warrant of removal/deportation (Form I-205) does not allow officers to enter a home without consent.
- You have the right to remain silent, even if the officer has a warrant
- Do not lie about your immigration status
- Do not provide false documents
- Do not sign anything without first speaking with a lawyer
- Do not run
- If ICE agents say they have a warrant signed by a judge, ask them to slide it under the door or hold it up to a window so that you can read it
- If ICE agents force their way in, do not resist. IF you wish to remain silent after they break in, it is your constitutional right to do so
- If you are on probation with a search condition, law enforcement is allowed to enter our home