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What should I know during an immigration raid?

On Behalf of | Jul 16, 2019 | Immigration Law

People who have come into the United States have a new fear – Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids. Some people call this enforcement of the law, but people who know the country’s laws know that these immigration raids can come with some serious questions.

The director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says that the raids, which are planned for Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities, aren’t just targeting undocumented individuals. He claims that they are targeting people who have a federal removal order. One statement said that the target is aggravated felons and those who are considered violent criminals.

In light of the news about the uptick in ICE raids, anyone who is in area where they might occur should know what to do if agents do show up. There are a few differences if they show up at a home versus if they show up at a business.

Do they have a warrant?

One of the most important things to remember is that ICE needs a valid warrant to enter a private residence or the private areas of the business. Be sure to ask this before you open the door or in the beginning of your interaction. The warrant must be issued by a court. If the document is from the Department of Homeland Security, it is not a warrant.

The only exception is if they are conducting an I-9 investigation or audit. In this case, they need a subpoena. This means that you have a specific amount of time to provide the requested documents. The subpoena doesn’t give them the right to enter.

Where can they go?

If ICE appears at the door of your home, you don’t have to open it. Instead, ask them to slip the warrant under the door if possible. If that can’t happen, try to find a way for them to get it to you without opening the door.

When ICE appears at a business, they can legally enter any public area without having a warrant. If there are private areas, they should be clearly noted that they are off limits. Signs that say only employees can enter or that customers aren’t welcome in the area, as well as secured doors, can make this distinction.

What else should you know?

You don’t have to speak to the agents with the exception of asserting your Fifth Amendment rights. Never sign anything until you have an attorney review the document. It is always best to invoke your rights and tread lightly when you deal with ICE.