Do you know your rights if ICE comes to your door?
By Miriam Raftery
July 14, 2019 (San Diego) – As part of immigration sweeps across the nation this week, 20 people with final deportation orders were arrested this past week in San Diego County, before the announced date of sweeps that President Donald Trump said would begin Sunday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has announced.
According to ICE, 85 percent of those arrested had criminal convictions or criminal charges pending that included drug and weapons offenses, hit and run, driving under the influence, theft, domestic violence, fraud, or evading law enforcement.
The other 15 percent had only immigration violations, but all will be processed for deportation.
Across the nation, President Trump’s announcement of the impending sweeps struck fear into immigrant communities, raising fears of family separations and sending some immigrant households into hiding, NPR reports.
Fear, even among legal immigrants or those with family members who are undocumented, has prompted a "Know Your Rights" campaign by civil liberties and immigrant rights groups.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a pre-emptive lawsuit Thursday that aims to protect asylum seekers, those who came to the U.S. seeking a safe haven from violence in their homelands.
It is unclear how many of those being swept up in the current crackdown may be asylum seekers who asked for asylum legally at the border, versus people who crossed the border illegally.
On Saturday, immigrant rights groups held protests across the nation organized by a group calling itself Lights for Liberty, including a protest held outside an ICE detention facility at Otay Mesa in San Diegoi County..
The ACLU has set up a “Know Your Rights” webpage to advise immigrants of their Constitutional rights.
If ICE or other law enforcement officers come to your home, the ACLU advises to keep the door closed and speak to them through the door. Ask if they are immigration agents and why there are there. Ask to see a badge or ID through a window or the peephole on your door.
Ask if they have a warrant signed by a judge, and if they do, ask them to slide it under the door or hold it up to a window for you to read it.
If they don’t, you can tell them you don’t consent to entry. If they force their way in, say, “I do not consent to your entry or to your search. I am exercising my right to remain silent. I wish to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.”
You have a right to remain silent, even if the officers have a warrant.
A warrant for deportation or removal, Form I-205, does NOT allow officers to enter your home without your consent.
But an arrest warrant or a search warrant signed by a judge does give officers the right to enter. They are also allowed to enter if you’re on probation with a search condition.
Don’t lie or show any false documents, and don’t sign anything without talking with a lawyer first, the ACLU advises.
You can find more resources at ACLU.org, including what to do if stopped by ICE officers on the streets, at work or other locations.