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Immigration Law

ICE Raids Scheduled for Sunday: What Are Your Rights?

A Whistleblower Stalls the June Raids

On June 17, 2019, President Trump posted a tweet stating that ICE would start arresting and deporting “millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States.” However, the president deliberately failed to mention that the raids were scheduled to commence that very weekend. An anonymous source complicated his plans by preemptively releasing a list of the ten cities ICE intended to raid. Americans across the country immediately took action by warning potential victims, contacting politicians, and arranging protests in the targeted cities.

Five days later, the president reacted to public and bipartisan outrage by tweeting, “At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks 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. If not, Deportations start!”

President Trump Reschedules the Raids for July

This morning, President Trump confirmed that ICE agents will resume this large-scale operation and start arresting undocumented migrants on Sunday, July 14th. Immigration advocates are concerned because ICE isn’t targeting criminal figures, but families who have recently entered the country.

ICE is planning to arrest and deport over 2,000 people living in the following cities:

  • Atlanta
  • Baltimore
  • Chicago
  • Denver
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York
  • San Francisco

New Orleans was originally on this list, but ICE operations in this location have been suspended due to tropical storm Barry.

The mayors of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Baltimore have publicly declared that they have no intention of assisting ICE during these raids, and that local law enforcement officials have been ordered to restrict the agency’s access to department databases.

Who Is ICE Planning to Arrest?

After announcing that the raids would recommence, President Trump clarified to reporters that “It starts on Sunday and they’re going to take people out and they’re going to bring them back to their countries or they’re going to take criminals out, put them in prison, or put them in prison in the countries they came from. We’re focused on criminals as much as we can before we do anything else.”

However, the president’s comments are misleading because ICE has previously reported that they’re targeting immigrant individuals and families that have been issued final removal orders. Sadly, it’s likely that these raids will also result in “collateral” deportations, meaning that ICE will apprehend any undocumented immigrants who happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Anyone who is arrested this weekend will be taken into custody and transported to ICE family residential detention centers. In fact, the family detention center in Dilley, Texas has already cleared space for new detainees.

The parents or guardians of minor citizens will be allowed to stay with their children for an unspecified amount of time (officials have yet to provide additional details). During this grace period, the parent will be fitted with an ankle bracelet until they get their child’s affairs in order.

Anyone who is arrested this weekend has a legal right to an attorney. Please utilize this civil liberty. A legal representative can protect your interests and help you appeal your case in court.

Understanding Your Legal Rights

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has already filed a lawsuit to protect any refugees and undocumented migrants who may be arrested this Sunday. This lawsuit ensures that all detainees will have an opportunity to stand before an immigration judge and plead their case before the deportation process starts. As the ACLU explains, many of these individuals have legitimate claims for asylum, and have only missed their court dates “because of massive bureaucratic errors and, in some cases, deliberate misdirection by immigration enforcement agencies.”

The ACLU has also published a comprehensive guide that details what actions you can take if ICE shows up at your doorstep:

  • Stay calm and speak to the ICE agent through the closed door.
  • Ask why the ICE agent is at your door and request the presence of an interpreter, if necessary.
  • Don’t interact with the agent unless they show you their badge or ID card through a window or peephole.
  • You have the right to remain silent, which means that you’re not obligated to share your citizenship status with any officers or officials; however, you do need to comply if an ICE agent asks to see your papers.
  • A removal/deportation warrant (Form I-205) is not a judicial search or arrest warrant; an agent can’t enter your home or search you or your belongings without your consent (unless they fear you’re carrying a weapon).
  • If the agent wants to enter your home, ask to see if they have a warrant signed by a judge.
  • If the agent does not have a valid warrant, you can refuse to let them inside.

It’s also critical that you follow these steps during an arrest:

  1. Stay calm, even if your rights are being violated.
  2. Do not resist if the agents force their way in.
  3. Don’t run, attack, resist, argue, or obstruct the agent.
  4. Always keep your hands where the officer can see them.
  5. Don’t lie about your immigration status or give the agent false documentation.
  6. Announce your wish to remain silent and utilize your legal right to an attorney.
  7. Do not sign any documents or make any decisions without your lawyer.
  8. You also have a legal right to contact your consulate for assistance.
  9. If your rights have been violated, write down the agents’ names, badge numbers, and any other identifying details.
  10. If you’re injured during the arrest, request medical attention and, if possible, take photographs of your injuries.

Do You Require Legal Representation? Contact Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A.

Contact the immigration attorneys at Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A. if you’re concerned about the Sunday raids or have questions about your specific legal situation. We’re a full-service immigration law firm with offices located in Florida, Texas, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. For over 40 years, our board-certified lawyers have been providing exceptional legal services to clients in all matters involving immigration, including asylum issues and deportation defense. If you require legal assistance, rely on a team that can answer your questions, aggressively defend your rights, and fiercely represent your interests throughout each step of this challenging legal process.

Call Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A. at (800) 708-4399 to schedule a confidential consultation.