As many of you have already heard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been given an initiative to find, arrest and deport people who have recently arrived from Central America. I’m going to discuss the main points of these ICE raids and what you need to know in order to protect yourself in the event this happens to you or your family members.
- Who is being targeted? The focus of these raids are adults, children and families who were caught entering the U.S. after May 1, 2014 crossing the border illegally:
- Who have gone to immigration court and have been issued final orders of removal by an Immigration Judge or failed to appear in court and ordered deported in his/her absence; and
- Who have no legal remedies left, including appeals, asylum, or any other humanitarian claims.
- Undocumented aliens who do not fall under these categories are not the target of the recent ICE raids.
- If you are currently in deportation/removal proceedings (Immigration Court), then you should not fear that you will be arrested.
- Even if you fall under the categories listed above, you still have rights. By law, ICE cannot enter your home without a search warrant. Even if you are undocumented, these rights apply to you. If ICE comes knocking on your door, you have the right to not answer the door. In the majority of cases, ICE will NOT have the proper search warrant issued by a court that will allow them to enter your home without your permission. Is it hard to look out of your front door and see ICE agents standing there wanting to come in and you refuse to let them in? Yes, it’s very hard. Most people will let the ICE agents in due to fear. But I’m telling you now that you can say ‘no’ and walk away from the door and not allow them to enter.
- You don’t have to speak to an ICE agent and can ask for an attorney before speaking to the agent. Again, is it hard to not answer questions directly asked of you from ICE agents and to say, I want to speak to my lawyer? Yes, it is hard. But you have the absolute right to ask to speak to a lawyer, and you should exercise that right.
- Even if you have lost in Immigration Court and have been issued a final order of deportation and believe you have no remedies, you must speak to an immigration attorney. Since the raids, many families, women and children have been saved from getting deported back to their dangerous countries after the cases were evaluated by immigration attorneys and professionals.
Be safe friends, and please get an evaluation of your case if you are in deportation proceedings or have a final order of deportation. As always, Gardner & Mendoza is here to help our community find lawful solutions to their immigration issues. Give us a call at (757) 464-9224 or contact us online to schedule your consultation today.
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