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What should I do in the event of an immigration raid?

Everyone in the United States benefits from specific rights and protections under U.S. law. It doesn’t matter if you’re a citizen, a green card holder or an undocumented or illegal immigrant. You can benefit from the rights and protections afforded by the United States Constitution in the event of an immigration raid.

To make the most of your Constitutional rights when you are subjected to an immigration raid, here is an action plan that you can follow:

Don’t say anything. You’re not required to answer ICE’s questions. Your answers can be used against you in legal proceedings by the ICE and without an attorney representing you and advising you, it’s possible you could hurt your case by talking. Instead, simply respond to their questions with the following words, “I plead the fifth amendment and choose to remain silent.”

Don’t open your door. It doesn’t matter what Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) tries to do or say on the other side of your door. They are not allowed to enter your property without presenting a signed warrant issued by a criminal court judge, unless you let them come in. They may knock. They may say many things, but without a warrant they do not have the legal authority to enter your home. Do not open your door when ICE comes knocking.

Don’t sign anything. Do not sign your name to any document provided to you by the ICE, no matter what they try to tell you it means. Speak with a lawyer before you potentially sign your rights away.

Record video and sound, or take pictures of what’s happening. Take notes of ICE agent badge numbers, how many agents are present, the kind of cars being driven and everything that happened. If you’re not on federal property, record what’s happening on your cell phone and/or take pictures.

Finally, those subjected to Immigration and Customs Enforcement may want to get an attorney to represent them. A lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected under the law and help you navigate your immigration case.

Source: UNIDOS US, “Know your rights,” accessed Nov. 03, 2017