What immigrants should know amid stepped-up ICE raids

The following is from the National Immigration Law Center. The NILC website has a versión en español — Chinese:* Traditional • Simplified (PDF) — Arabic* (PDF) — Korean* (PDF):

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 13, 2017) — There have been numerous reports of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) arresting people across the United States. Specifically, we have heard reports of ICE activity in the following cities: Austin and surrounding suburbs, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and Portland. We’ve also heard reports of activity in Montgomery County, MD; as well as in Kansas, Florida, South Carolina, and Virginia.

We are working with national and local partners to obtain detailed information about these raids. As of now, we know that hundreds of individuals have been detained and are being processed for deportation. ICE is engaging in the following practices:

► Going to homes and workplaces and arresting people, both in individual actions and through sweeps of large apartment complexes;

► Making collateral arrests of other people not originally targeted at homes and workplaces where raids were conducted (e.g., arrests of people who happened to be there when ICE arrived);

► Using mobile biometrics units in rural areas to process people for deportation more quickly (mobile biometric units are handheld devices used to fingerprint people and check if they are deportable); and

► Reports of arresting individuals who are using public transportation.

These immigration enforcement tactics devastate our communities and create chaos and fear. Many of these tactics rely on racial profiling and attempt to remove people from the country quickly, before they have an opportunity to speak to an attorney or see a judge. Immigration authorities may claim otherwise, but their actions result in swift and cruel deportation of integral members of our families and communities.


What do immigrants and others impacted need to know?


Everyone has basic rights, no matter who is president.

► You have the right to remain silent. You may refuse to speak to immigration officers.

► Carry a know-your-rights card any valid U.S. immigration document you have.

► Do not open your door unless the officer shows you a warrant signed by a judge.

► You have the right to speak to a lawyer. Before you sign anything, talk to a lawyer.

► Let ICE officers know if you have children, health problems, or other factors that may cause you or your family to suffer if you are arrested.

► Learn more about your rights and how to prepare for raids here:

► Report and document raids and arrests. Call United We Dream’s hotline to report a raid: 1-844-363-1423.

What can friends and allies do to help?


If you are concerned about the impact these raids have on our community, you can voice your objections in the following ways:

► Call your representative in Congress at 202-224-3121 and tell them you want these raids to stop immediately.

► Call your mayor, governor, and local and state representatives and demand that they take steps to protect immigrant communities from attack by the Trump deportation force (find your state and local elected officials here);

► Attend local marches and vigils opposing these raids. You can find information on local events here;

► Report and document raids and arrests. Call United We Dream’s hotline to report a raid: 1-844-363-1423.

What can elected officials do?


Elected officials and their staff can obtain necessary information regarding the ICE operations. Specifically, you can contact your local ICE field office director to:

► Obtain information about their new enforcement priorities;

► Find out what operations are being developed and carried out;

► Ask how many people have been arrested;

► Obtain the names of any individuals who have been arrested, and their Alien Registration Numbers (“A” numbers);

► Learn where those individuals are being held, and of any expected transfers; and

► Ask local law enforcement agencies whether they are aware of the operations and request information regarding whether they’re collaborating with ICE in any way.

The information obtained immediately after an arrest occurs is critical. Please contact the ICE field office as soon as possible after hearing of an immigration enforcement action in your district to obtain the information outlined above. Use the information you obtain for district casework and to support local organizations responding to the enforcement actions.

For more information, contact the National Immigration Law Center at

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