What To Do (and Not Do) In Case Of ICE
The administration has said it intends to deport those with criminal convictions, but ICE has also detained people who have been charged but not convicted, as well as people with no criminal record at all. ICE usually identifies the person they want to detain and then go to their homes or workplaces, sometimes to the courts and jails, especially in cities that do not explicitly uphold sanctuary city policies. However, they have also picked people up on the streets and often they pick up people along the way who were not the original target.
Here are some guidelines for what you can or should do in different situations:
If ICE Comes to Your Home
Do not open doors. If ICE comes knocking, they can't come in unless they have a judge-issued warrant. Ask them: “Do you have a warrant?” Keep asking them that until they respond to that question. It is always good to practice this beforehand. If they say they do, you have the right to see the warrant. Ask them: “Please slip the warrant under the door.” Make sure it is signed and is specifically for your address and a specific person. Take a picture of it before you let them in.
Call Your Phone Tree/Buddy System. Your network of allies should be alerted. They could try and get there in time. If not, they can make sure to follow up with authorities and locate you. The phone tree should be designed to get you help to respond to your case, inform your family, our community and mobilize our network of allies, activists and helpers. Our community members should make a plan listing the steps the phone tree will follow to notify family, sanctuary and the rest of the response team. In case of a raid or if you are in the process of being detained, lock your phone after calling and initiating your phone tree and plan.
Remain Silent. If and when ICE comes in, just give them your Rights Card [Link]. Do not say anything, do not respond to any questions. ICE can use anything you say against you in your proceedings.
Do not sign anything without speaking to an attorney. They may ask you to sign documents like "stipulated orders of removal” or "voluntary departure" forms. This allows them to quickly remove you from the country as you're signing away your rights. So make sure you DO NOT sign any documents presented by ICE before you speak to an attorney
Do not give your documents (such as passports) to ICE officials. They may immediately be used against you to put you into deportation proceedings.
Record everything. You, or other people with you, have the right to record any law enforcement event. Agents might tell you to stop but you can continue recording. Document all the facts about a raid, including any and all actions taken by ICE agents that may be unlawful, take down the names and badge numbers of ICE agents, and the names and dates of birth of detained immigrants.
If You Encounter ICE on the Street
- Stay calm and be polite, don’t run or resist or obstruct them; keep your hands visible.
- If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must present immigration documents (if you have them) when requested by an immigration agent. If you don’t have immigration papers, tell the agent you wish to remain silent. Do not lie or give false documents to officials.
If You Are Detained by ICE
Detention does not automatically mean deportation. There is a legal process that is set in motion. But it can last up to 6 months or more, it is important to prepare yourself psychologically, emotionally and to have a plan for childcare and to keep up with house bills and expenses. The legal process in detention is composed of 3 court dates:
- Bail day
- “Master Calendar” day, in which all case documents are submitted
- Individual Court, in which the court decides whether you are deportable
You have the right to appeal and if you lose your appeal you have the right to appeal again.