The increased pace of deportations during the Trump administration has resulted in daily news headlines about immigration raids at courthouses, workplaces, schools, and even churches. However, these headlines often leave out the arrests and investigations that take place at the homes of immigrants.
Contrary to what the White House reports, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are not solely focused on rounding up undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of violent crimes. ICE agents are known to pursue foreigners who do not pose a danger to their communities and who may have merely fallen out of status.
Here are some recommendations given by the American Civil Liberties Union and immigration attorneys in San Diego about what should be done when ICE agents knock on your door.
Don’t Open the Door
Ask the agents who they are and the reason for their presence, which you can do with the door closed. If you don’t understand English, communicate in your native language and request an interpreter.
Check for Warrants
Some agents will ask to enter your home. Unless they have a warrant issued by a judge, do not allow them to enter your residence. If you have an attorney, call his or her office after asking the agents to slip the warrant under the door or display it against a window. The key here is to determine if the document is an actual warrant granting entry or simply an administrative order for removal.
Don’t Resist If Agents Try to Barge In
The constitution grants you certain rights, and one of them is that law enforcement agents cannot enter your home without a judicial warrant. There have been reports of overzealous ICE agents who try to push the door in after showing an administrative order instead of a warrant. You should not resist if they do this because doing so may be dangerous, but you should state that you are not giving the agents permission to enter. If they have already forced their way in, resist the temptation to record their actions with your smartphone.
You are not obligated to say anything aside from your wish to contact an attorney as soon as possible. No one in your house should say anything to the agents, but they can certainly start contacting immigration attorneys on your behalf.
What You Should Not Do
Unless you have current identification documents issued by a state or federal agency, you should not show them to the agents. Don’t lie or make any false statements because they may come back to haunt you. Under no circumstances should you sign any documents before your attorney has reviewed them. As previously mentioned, you should not resist detention, particularly when agents are using force, as this could prompt them to escalate the situation.
If you need a lawyer in the event of an immigration raid at your home, contact KS Visa Law. We have the best immigration lawyers in San Diego you can count on. Call us at 858-874-0711 to schedule an appointment with one of our lawyers today.