What to do if ICE comes knocking: Know your rights

On the same day Trump’s raids on immigrant families are scheduled to start (today), Trump issued a series of tweets that make his racism very clear:

“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly…… ….and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how……..it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”

Trump and his administration are working to create terror in immigrant communities throughout the U.S. by directing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) carry out sweeping “family op” raids across the country on undocumented immigrant families who have been in the United States for years.

You have rights

In America, all of us including immigrants have rights, so if ICE knocks at your door, here is what to do:

  • Stay calm.
  • Do not open the door. Agents need a search warrant signed by a judge to lawfully enter your home. Ask the agents at your door if they have a search warrant. If they do not, don’t open the door and tell them you don’t consent to an unlawful search. If they present a paper, look it over closely and pay close attention to the identification of the person who signed it to make sure it bears the signature of a judge.
  • Ask to see the agents’ badge or identification.
  • If immigration agents enter your home without permission, say aloud that you do not give them permission to enter your property or search through your belongings.
  • You have the right to remain silent. If you choose to exercise this right, tell the agents you wish to remain silent and then do not answer any questions, for example they may try to ask where you were born, whether you’re a U.S. citizen or how and when you came to this country. If you do choose to answer their questions, do not lie about anything.
  • Do not sign any documents.
  • If you feel safe doing so, record the interaction with a cell phone using audio or video. If possible, set your phone to upload the video or audio automatically to “the cloud.”
  • Be aware that ICE agents can lie to you, so do not agree to accompany them to their office, or an immigration office. Don’t believe them if they say they will help you or take you somewhere safe.
  • Make sure fences and gates to your yard are closed with locks on them.

To find out more about your rights, or read a Spanish translation of these instructions, click here.

If you are stopped by immigration or law enforcement agents when away from home:

You also have rights if you are stopped while away from home by police or immigration. Watch the video below by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to find out what how to handle a stop by police or immigration agents:

You can also download the ACLU of Colorado’s Mobile Justice app that allows you to record interactions with police and automatically email it to the ACLU of Colorado, so it cannot be deleted or destroyed. The app also provides an overview of your rights while recording or interacting with law enforcement.

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