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What to do when ICE comes knocking

Views from the Edge


Sunday is usually a time for church, family get-togethers, and perhaps time to play a little soccer, but this Sunday will be different.
Lots of people will on short vacations, missing church, visiting relatives or all closeted up together this weekend in anticipation of the ICE raids expected to rain down on immigrant communities.

Immigrant advocacy groups and legal aid lawyers will be spread out around the country ready to jump into action when and if they get that dreaded call from someone who is being detained for deportation.
“More than one hundred years ago, the Supreme Court decided that immigrants could not be deported without due process. These vulnerable refugees deserve that basic protection,” said Ahilan Arulanantham, senior counsel at the ACLU in Southern California in a public statement. The ACLU is one of the four legal aid organizations suing the administration.

ICE authorities said they would focus on these 10 cities: New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Denver, Miami, New Orleans, Baltimore, Chicago and Atlanta, It should be remembered that this includes the cities’ suburbs. Just because one lives in San Jose doesn’t mean one will be immune to the raids.

There are already reports of ICE arrests being made before the announced “raids.” About 36 Cambodians were deported a week before and landed in Cambodia on July 4th.

If you are afraid of a visit from ICE, or you know someone who might be afraid of an ICE officer knocking on their door, here’s some suggestions from the ACLU to help you prepare yourself and your family.

If ICE goes to your home:

How to stay reduce risk to yourself

  • Stay calm and keep the door closed. Opening the door does not give them permission to come inside, but it is safer to speak to ICE through the door.

Your rights

  • You have the right to remain silent, even if officer has a warrant.
  • You do not have to let police or immigration agents into your home unless they have certain kinds of warrants.
  • 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.

What to do when the police or ICE arrive  

  • Ask if they are immigration agents and what they are there for.
  • Ask the agent or officer to show you a badge or identification through the window or peephole.
  • Ask if they have a warrant signed by a judge. If they say they do, ask them to slide it under the door or hold it up to a window so you can inspect it.
  • Don’t lie or produce any false documents. Don’t sign anything without speaking with a lawyer first.
  • Do not open your door unless ICE shows you a judicial search or arrest warrant naming a person in your residence and/or areas to be searched at your address. If they don’t produce a warrant, keep the door closed. State: “I do not consent to your entry.”
  • If agents force their way in, do not resist. If you wish to exercise your rights, state: “I do not consent to your entry or to your search of these premises. I am exercising my right to remain silent. I wish to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.”
  • If you are on probation with a search condition, law enforcement is allowed to enter your home.

Watch this video for more tips that might be helpful:

All people in the United States, regardless of immigration status, have certain rights and protections under the U.S. Constitution. The Red Cards, provided by Immigration Legal Resource Center, help people assert their rights and defend themselves in many situations, such as when ICE agents go to a home. Ordering Red Cards

red cards
  1. Print Your Own: The artwork for printing your own cards is available at the bottom of this page. These are formatted as standard 3.5” by 2” business cards. Any print or copy shop should be able to work from these files. We strongly recommend printing these with rounded corners and a coated finish for durability. You can also print them on your own personal printer.
  2. Businesses, Private Attorneys, and Orders of 1000+: Order from www.RedCardOrders.com. This is a union-run printer set up to accept your order, print, and ship the cards directly to you. You will have to pay the printer for your order.
  3. Nonprofits: If you are an immigrant-serving organization based anywhere in the United States, or if you are a public defender, librarian, educator, or are otherwise employed by a public institution, the ILRC can arrange to order and ship cards to you for free. Complete the order form here

Using Your Red Cards Please see here for further information on how to use your Red Cards.

Printing red cards in Arabic

Printing red cards in Chinese

Printing red cards in English

Printing red cards in French

Printing red cards in Hmong

Printing red cards in Korean

Printing red cards in Spanish

Printing red cards in Vietnamese

More than just Sunday

ICE plans to do these raids beyond Sunday. For the next two weeks it will pay to be alert, cautious and be prepared.
Print out this flyer and post by the door.

immigrant rights

Be safe and be prepared, my friends.

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