Throughout his time in office, President Donald Trump has adopted a vocal anti-immigrant stance, often using racist and xenophobic language. He has promised to build a wall on the border of Mexico and used undocumented immigrants as scapegoats for violent crimes in America. Under his administration, children have been separated from their families at the border. He has also promised mass deportations, and according to CNN, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began raids to deport certain undocumented immigrants on Sunday, July 14th.
The operations targeted about 2,000 people facing court deportation orders in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco. Raids in New Orleans were delayed because of tropical storm Barry. The New York Times notes that the raids were meant to target recently arrived immigrants, but immigrants at the scene who were not targets could also be caught up in “collateral” arrests.
USA Today reported today, July 15th, that so far, the ICE raids have yet to materialize. In many cities, there were no reports of ICE activity on the 14th. But CNN notes that at the White House, Trump told reporters, “Many, many were taken out on Sunday. You just didn’t know about it.”
So right now, we don’t know whether, or how many, people were detained over the weekend. But regardless of what happened on the 14th, it’s possible that these raids could still happen. It’s important to learn how you can protect yourself and others. Here’s what you know to be prepared.
You have the right to remain silent.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) notes that you do not have to talk to the authorities if you don’t want to. Tell law enforcement that you wish to exercise your right to remain silent if you do not want to share information about your immigration status with them. You also have the right to consult with an attorney if police arrest you or ICE detains you. Ask authorities for a lawyer, and in the meantime, do not speak or sign anything.
Don’t worry about the cost of legal help. Websites like ImmigrationLawHelp.org can help you look up organizations that provide free or low-cost legal aid to immigrants.
People with deportation orders still have legal options! If you can, try and connect with an attorney to discuss what can be done on your case. @ImmAdvocates has a directory for resources in all 50 states. https://t.co/HJvDswIzMg pic.twitter.com/GY5TQwMuep— National Immigration Law Center (@NILC) July 14, 2019
Keep your rights with you.
The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) has Know Your Rights cards on its website that you can print out and carry with you. You can hand it to a law enforcement officer should the need arise. Cards on the NILC website are available in English, Arabic, Farsi, Somali, and Spanish.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS THREAD: We all have certain basic rights, no matter who’s president. Protect yourself & your community. Here’s a card that you can hand to ICE and law enforcement officers. The card is also available in several other languages, here: https://t.co/okgAut7pBU pic.twitter.com/Ikb0NffW99— National Immigration Law Center (@NILC) July 12, 2019
You can also download pamphlets here from the Immigrant Defense Project, which contain information about who is at risk in ICE raids and what to do if your rights are violated.
🚨RESOURCE UPDATE🚨 we've created 6 shareable infographics on what to do when you #knowyourrights but ICE violates them! They're based on 6 years of tracking how ICE makes arrests and the reality that #ICE doesn't respect the rights of noncitizens https://t.co/ZpiujFSuLy pic.twitter.com/I0HYJsTadu— Immigrant Defense Project (@ImmDefense) June 28, 2019
ICE cannot enter your home without a warrant from a judge.
According to the ACLU, ICE authorities with a warrant for deportation need your permission to enter your home. The ACLU suggests keeping your door closed and interacting with ICE through the closed door. You can ask them to slide any warrants they have under the door so you can look at them.
It’s also important to note that ICE needs a specific kind of warrant to enter your home. The NILC notes that ICE should have a warrant signed by a judge with your correct name and address on it if they want to search your house. Per the NILC, administrative warrants signed by ICE agents do not permit ICE to enter your home without consent. The organization recently tweeted images of both kinds of warrants if you need a visual.
If ICE comes to your door, you DO NOT have to open it. To be allowed to enter your home, ICE MUST have a warrant signed by a judge. To be valid, the warrant must have your correct name & address on it. If an ICE agent wants to show you a warrant, they can slide it under the door.— National Immigration Law Center (@NILC) July 12, 2019
Here’s an example of a Judicial warrant, in the first image (LEFT), which is signed by a judge. The second image (RIGHT) is an administrative warrant signed by an ICE agent, which is NOT a legal basis for an ICE official to enter your home. pic.twitter.com/YULm7Ha8tM— National Immigration Law Center (@NILC) July 12, 2019
There are ways you can protect those at risk of deportation.
The Immigrant Defense Project’s website contains a list of ways you can protect immigrants in your community. Some ideas include advocating for policies to protect immigrants and making sure that public defenders and immigration lawyers in your state have adequate funding. You can also report ICE activity to United We Dream‘s MigraWatch Hotline at 1-844-363-1423.
Now more than ever, we need to stand up for those at risk and make sure that their rights are granted. We hope this information won’t be necessary, but it’s important to know how you can defend yourself and others.