ByMolly Kleinman, Summer Intern, Bolour Immigration Group
Sunday, June 23, 2019 was meant to be the start of sweeping immigration raids in more than a dozen cities by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The raid would have targeted approximately 140 individuals in Southern California and 2,000 nation-wide. However, on Saturday, June 22, 2019 Trump delayed the raids by two weeks. While this is certainly a relief for anyone who may be a target of ICE, it is still important for everyone, documented or not, to be aware of their rights.
Every person in the United States, citizen or not, is entitled to certain rights. Chief among these is the right to remain silent. Whether you are approached in public, at home or at work, you do not need to speak to ICE agents. It is critical that if you are planning to remain silent, you say out loud, “I am exercising my right to remain silent,” or something of the like. Absolutely do not speak without a lawyer present and do not lie.
The right to a lawyer is another constitutional right. If you are detained or taken into custody, you have the right to speak to a lawyer. If you have a lawyer, contact them immediately. You should wait until a lawyer is present before signing any documents.
If ICE agents come to your home, you do not have to open the door unless they have a valid search warrant that is signed by a judge. You do not have to open the door for a deportation warrant. A search warrant will read “United States District Court” at the top and below it, “Search and Seizure Warrant” in bold print. Only open the door if the information on the warrant is accurate and it is signed by a judge.
There are ways you can help undocumented people. If you are made aware of ICE presence anywhere in your city, such as a subway stop, post the location, date and the ICE presence to your social media. If you are documented and aware someone you are with is undocumented, stay with them if you are approached by ICE. If you are at an ICE checkpoint, filming the situation can also be helpful, particularly if the agents are getting aggressive with people in the area.
The most important thing you can do is keep yourself safe. You can find more resources and information on the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) website. Or get Red Cards, also known as Know Your Rights cards, on the Immigration Legal Resource Center (ILRC) website. You may also call our office at 323-857-0034 if you need representation before USCIS/ICE, and/or Immigration Court.