How to Prepare Yourself and Others for Encounters With Immigration Enforcement
By Shiu-Ming Cheer, NILC senior staff attorney and field coordinator
FEBRUARY 10, 2017
There have been disturbing reports over recent days of dozens or even hundreds of people across the country being picked up in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids.
Though we knew these types of raids were likely coming soon under the Trump administration, it serves as an important reminder to be prepared and know your rights in the event that you encounter ICE. Though immigration raids are unfortunately nothing new, we are concerned they will become more frequent and more broad. Already we’ve heard of “collateral” arrests: people arrested who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when ICE came looking for someone else.
We must all resist these cruel and senseless detentions and deportations. A good way to do that is to share information with friends, loved ones, relatives, and neighbors who may be at risk—information about their rights and what they need to do to be prepared.
Be sure to visit our Immigration Enforcement page. We’ve put together a lot of information on how you can protect yourself and people in your community in the event of ICE sweeps. Our guide for educators is filled with information and resources for teachers or administrators who want to learn how they can protect their undocumented students. We also have model resolutions for K-12 schools and colleges and universities that wish to officially adopt protection policies for their undocumented students.
Our know-your-rights guides have been translated into several languages and include a card someone who is stopped by ICE can hand to the ICE agent to insist on their right to speak to an attorney before signing anything. Print out the cards and share them widely!
Finally, look for pro-immigrant rallies near you, and let your local lawmakers know that you don’t think breaking up families makes anyone safer. As always, if you can vote, do it. Tell your local mayor or sheriff that you will vote against them if they cooperate with ICE agents. Together, we can fight back against these harsh strong-arm tactics meant to frighten immigrant communities.