There is no question that raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are happening more frequently. The President’s focus on decreasing immigration numbers and removing illegal immigrants from the country by whatever means necessary has stirred up emotions across the United States. ICE raids are part of the effort to remove illegal immigrants from the country and they are raising questions, fears, and concerns even among legal immigrants.
Since these raids are on the rise, we wanted to share five facts about ICE raids that can help you understand who is targeted by these raids and what to do if you are apprehended.
It is important to understand that even as an illegal immigrant to the U.S., you have rights and are protected by the law.
5 Things To Know About ICE Raids
Who is targeted by raids:
1. Raids are only targeted to those who have received final orders of removal but did not leave the country as ordered. These individuals have applied for a benefit, gone to court, spoken with a judge, and have been denied their application for immigration benefits. When an application is denied, these individuals are supposed to leave the country. If they don’t, that makes them a target for an ICE raid. These individuals are the #1 target of immigration raids, removals, and detentions.
2. Green card holders and those who are here lawfully, but have been convicted of a crime are secondary targets for removal. These individuals have been convicted of a crime that violates the terms of their legal status. If they are released instead of being turned over to immigration officials, and do not leave the country, ICE will come looking for them.
What to do if immigration officials approach you:
3. If immigration agents come to your home, you do not have to open the door or let them in. They cannot enter your home forcibly without a warrant.
4. If agents try to apprehend you in a public location, do not resist arrest. But, DO remain silent. You are protected by the law and have the right to remain silent under questioning, just as a U.S. citizen does. Make note of the officer’s name and the facility where you are being held, then contact a family member. DO NOT sign any documents that you are given. Simply write, “refuse to sign”.
5. When you contact your family member have them hire an immigration lawyer for immigration defense. Do not surrender your passport or green card. Give them to your immigration lawyer and let your immigration attorney decide if and when to hand over those documents to immigration officers.
Immigration Attorney Gail Seeram Will Fight For Your Rights
It’s vital to remember that these raids are targeted at criminal offenders and those who have failed to comply with an order of removal. Legal immigrants who have not violated the terms of their immigration benefit cannot be deported. Even so, legal immigrants can still be harassed or mistakenly targeted during a raid.
This is a crucial time in American society where immigrant rights are at stake and being trampled on. It is smart to be wary and know your rights because you DO have them!
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Then contact The Law Offices of Gail Seeram for help with your immigration defense. We can help ensure your rights are protected and you receive due process under the law.