President Trump has promised ICE raids, possibly starting this weekend, to round up undocumented immigrants and start deporting them to their home countries.
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After the initial announcement, several groups and individuals began sharing graphics that list various rights everyone has if immigration officials approach them. The 11Alive VERIFY team set out to get the facts.
We took those claims to immigration attorney Glenn Fogle Jr. who gave us a checklist, of sorts, of what to do during an ICE raid.
#1: You don’t have to let ICE agents in immediately or at all
“You don’t have to open the door,” said Fogle. “They (ICE agents) are not allowed to come into anybody’s house unless they have a criminal warrant.”
Fogle said a best practice is to not respond to the knock, speak to the agents, or address them in any way. He said he had one client who said ICE showed up at their home at 6 a.m. They stayed half an hour banging on the doors and yelling, but they left when no one answered the door.
“Sometimes they’ll actually bring police with them, or local police. A lot of time they do that to try to trick people. Again, you are under no obligation to talk to them or open the door.”
If you let them in, ICE can arrest anyone in the home who is an undocumented immigrant.
#2: Ask whether they have a criminal warrant
“They may say they have a warrant but it’s actually a deportation order or removal order,” Fogle explained. “That’s not a criminal warrant. So you do not have to let them in your home.”
Immigration matters are civil cases, not criminal. The deportation order they have is not the same thing as a warrant to arrest you. If an ICE agent says they have a warrant to get in your home, confirm it is a criminal warrant. Fogle suggests have them slide it under the door so you never open your door.
This also applies if they pull you over in your car.
“They do not have a right to stop somebody for no reason or block somebody’s car,” Fogle said. “You can stay in your car for hours, if you want to. They can’t break into your car. They’re not allowed to do that.”
#3: If detained, ask for a lawyer
As with any court matter, you have the right to an attorney.
“If they’re taken in, ICE has to let them make a call to their attorney,” Marylynn Tedesco, immigration lawyer with The Fogle Law Firm, explained.
Unlike criminal cases, there are no public defenders for immigration cases, Tedesco said, adding that there are also very few pro bono lawyers available to take immigration cases. She recommends undocumented immigrants make contact with a lawyer before needing one. That way they will know the client's and a little about their immigration situation.
“(Once) I receive the call, I ask for the alien registration number, where they’re being transferred to, and I can get started sooner, rather than later, on a motion for a bond,” Tedesco explained.
#4: Ask for bond
If you don’t already have a deportation order issued, you can ask for bond.
“Sometimes immigration will give them bonds but it depends on the situation,” Fogle said.
If you are wrongfully arrested, Fogle said you can sue ICE.
“If they just haul you into jail because they simply think you’re not legal and you are, you can sue them for wrongful arrest.”