How to help immigrants prepare for ICE raids

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If you want to help immigrants fearing persecution, it’s important you raise awareness about their rights and better understand them, too. Groups like United We Dream have provided infographics that spell out what to do if an ICE raid takes place around you.

If an ICE agent appears at an individual’s home, United We Dream urges immigrants not to open their doors, to remain silent even with a warrant, and to report and record everything. (States like Nevada, however, allow officers to demand a person’s name or risk being detained. You can research your state’s policies on the Immigrant Legal Resource Center’s website.)

Here are some other guidelines, per the ACLU:

  1. Ask if they are immigration agents and what they are there for.
  2. Ask the agent or officer to show you a badge or identification through the window or peephole.
  3. 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.
  4. Don’t lie or produce any false documents. Don’t sign anything without speaking with a lawyer first.
  5. 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.”
  6. 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.”
  7. If you are on probation with a search condition, law enforcement is allowed to enter your home.

If an individual is arrested, they should understand they retain the right to remain silent and should express that out loud. They should also ask for a lawyer immediately.

The ACLU has a helpful app in this instance, too. Mobile Justice, downloadable on any Android or iOS device, allows you to record police conduct and better understand your rights as an immigrant. It’s state-specific, meaning you’ll have to download your particular state’s version of the app; it’s currently only available in just 16 states and D.C. (for now).

As a bystander, you should not interfere with an arrest but absolutely should record officer badge numbers, license plates, and anything you witness. You can report this information using United We Dream’s hotline which verifies data and shares real-time alerts with others.

For a more extensive look at the rights of immigrants, you can take a look at the ACLU’s “Know Your Rights” guide.

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