Ahead of mass raids planned by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency in 10 U.S. cities Sunday, immigration advocacy groups are rushing to alert migrants of their rights if agents show up at their doors.
The raids are slated to take place before dawn on Sunday. (Update: Trump delayed the raids by two weeks on Saturday afternoon.) Known as the “family op,” ICE and Department of Homeland Security agents plan to target up to 2,000 families in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York and San Francisco. The objective is to round up migrants who were previously ordered to be deported.
Numerous city officials have pushed back. New York Attorney General Letitia James called the plan an “immoral and unconscionable act by a president and an administration hellbent on dividing our country.” And Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot vowed that the city police would not cooperate with ICE agents.
Groups like RAICES, United We Dream, and Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) took to social media to share infographics about immigrant rights before the raid, urging migrants to remain silent, not to share personal information with agents, and to document their interactions with officers. They also urged community members to notify advocacy groups if they see a raid taking place.
Raids are starting on Sunday in cities across the U.S.
— RAICES (@RAICESTEXAS) June 21, 2019
Here’s exactly what the aforementioned immigration groups are urging migrants to do if ICE agents come knocking:
Don’t open the door.
RAICES, United We Dream, and FIRM have all urged migrants not to open the door for ICE agents. Instead, they say, ask the agents from inside if they have a warrant. If they say yes, ask them to slip it under the door. You are not obligated to answer any questions.
Look for your name, address, and a signature on the warrant. As AJ+ reported, a removal order from ICE is not enough to allow for deportation. Determine what kind of warrant you are being given. A search warrant that is signed by a judge allows agents to search your house. If it’s an arrest warrant, step outside, but make sure everyone else remains inside the house.
Ask for a lawyer.
All the aforementioned immigrant rights groups also reminded migrants that they have a right to an attorney. If agents attempt to enter your house forcefully, tell them you “do not authorize entry” and ask to speak with a lawyer.
Remain silent and protect your information.
As advocacy groups instructed, if you are being detained or arrested, exercise your right to remain silent and do not sign anything. Do not give your personal information or provide fingerprints. Do not provide your identification card or your papers.
If you’re in a public space, ask the agents if you are being arrested. If they say yes, you have a right to remain silent until your lawyer is present. If they say no, you can leave.
If you are detained, you have the right to ask for bail.
According to United We Dream, it is also important to document everything. You have the right to take video and pictures. Take notes of the officers’ license plates and badge numbers. Then, report the raid by calling the United We Dream hotline.
Most groups also provided Spanish language translations of their guidelines. Here are United We Dream’s instructions:
UPDATE: On Saturday afternoon, Trump announced via Twitter that he was cancelling the ICE raids until the July 4th holiday weekend “to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border.”