Immigration raids have become commonplace as immigrants in San Antonio face increased enforcement actions. They might show up without notice in your home or the home of someone close to you. In the event that you find yourself caught in an immigration raid, use the following advice to protect your rights.
What You Should Do If You're Detained By ICE
If you are detained by ICE, it's important to follow these steps:
- Do not sign anything. If you're provided a document to sign before speaking with your immigration attorney, you might be placing your status as an immigrant in jeopardy.
- Stay calm. You might be harassed or intimidated, but you must remain as calm as possible.
- Mention to your agent that you wish to remain silent.
- Keep copies of all your immigration documents. Provide copies of your papers to those you trust, such as close friends or family members.
- Do not provide false information. If you lie about your status or provide false documents, this might be used against you during a deportation proceeding.
You Have Rights, Even During A Home Raid
As an immigrant, you have basic rights that must be upheld. These include enforcing your right to not open the door and asking the agents to identify themselves and why they are requesting to access your home. The event might catch you by surprise; remain calm to respond clearly to the agents' requests. ICE agents have no right to enter your home unless they have a warrant. This warrant must be signed by a judge and issued by the court in order to be legal. An administrative warrant of removal signed by an ICE agent or DHS is not enough to gain access to your home. Ask for a warrant to be presented and to be slipped under the door to identify the signatures. If the warrant was signed by a judge and issued by a court, then the warrant is valid.
However, if the warrant is issued by DHS or ICE and signed by an employee of those agencies, then the warrant does not allow entry into your premise. Read the warrant carefully and ensure that the person listed on the warrant is located on the property or listed in the areas to be searched. If the person listed in the warrant is not on your property, you have every right to not consent to their entry. They might attempt to use false information to gain access, but you have every right to not consent to them entering your property. In certain cases, they might attempt to force their way in. If this happens, do not resist and clearly state "I do not consent to your entry or search of the premises. I wish to remain silent and to speak to my lawyer as soon as possible."
Get Immigration Help
Help from experienced immigration attorneys is essential when it comes to protecting your rights as an immigrant. Contact Salmon-Haas today for help if you have been affected by an immigration raid at your home or place of work.