By: Ioana Raducu, Law Offices of Ally Bolour, APC
Since the Inauguration of Donald Trump, immigrants have been on constant alert fearful of deportation. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers are sweeping up people. ICE has been deporting immigrants notwithstanding any criminal record.
Rep. Linda Sanchez, a Los Angeles County Democrat, said in an interview with Free Speech Radio News that it is obvious ICE is not going after just bad guys. “Instead of focusing on the removal of hardcore criminals, a quarter of the people detained in the ICE raids are innocent people, including the arrest of a Dreamer in Seattle,” Sanchez said. “We’ve heard that some parents aren’t sending their kids to school because they’re afraid to. People are not answering the door, they’re not leaving their homes to go to work, because of the fear that these raids have incited.”
Immigrants with an arrest and conviction are now facing the danger of deportation at their mandatory immigration check-ins. Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, a mother of two American children, who came to the United States at the age of 14 was detained and deported during her routine immigration check-in with ICE. Garcia had been arrested and convicted in 2008 of identify fraud, for using a fake Social Security number. She had since then followed the legal process, being allowed to stay in the U.S. as long as she went to her immigration check-in every year. On February 8, 2017 during her 8th immigration check-in, Garcia was detained and deported within 24 hours to Mexico.
If ICE comes knocking at your residence, keep the door closed and ask if they are Immigration agents or from ICE, and respectfully ask to see a badge. Opening the door does not give them permission to enter your home. If they want to enter, ask if they have a warrant signed by a judge naming the person in your residence and/or areas to be searched at your residence. An administrative warrant of removal from immigration authorities is not enough. Only a court/judge warrant is enough for entry into your premises. One issued by DHS or ICE and signed by a DHS or ICE employee is not. If they say they have a warrant, ask them to slip the warrant under the door so you can verify it is signed by a judge.
If no such warrant exists, keep the door closed. If agents force their way into your home anyway, do not attempt to 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.” Everyone in the residence may also exercise the right to remain silent. Do not lie or show false documents. Do not sign any papers without speaking to a lawyer.
If you are stopped and asked about your immigration status, you have the right to remain silent, you do not have to answer questions about where you were born, whether you are a U.S. citizen or how you entered the country. Have your immigration documents, if any, on you at all times. You may call us at 323-857-0034 to make an appointment to review your case. Our office provides a free case analysis during our initial consultation.