ICE is going raiding! It’s important that we good US residents help them do a really good job. Here is a list of tips that most of us can use to ensure everything goes smoothly and safely as possible.
1. Don’t open the door! What if they inadvertently enter your home or vehicle illegally and get in trouble? For their safety, speak to them through the window.
2. Ask for their identification, including badge numbers, so that you can be sure they’re not being impersonated (SO embarrassing for a government agency!) and so that you can prove they were there, just following orders, like they’re supposed to.
3. Make sure they have their paperwork in order! Ask to see their warrant, and if they don’t have one, protect them from disciplinary action and/or lawsuits by asking them to get a warrant before searching your car or your house. If they present a warrant, ensure it was issued by a court, signed by a judge, and is for the correct property and/or person.
4. If you’re with someone who isn’t familiar with United States law, let them know how important legal paperwork and procedure is so they don’t inadvertently ruin the career of an ICE agent by letting them bend or break the law. We definitely wouldn’t want that!
5. Look over all documents carefully, and consult a lawyer if you’d like to double check them, just to be sure they’re perfectly accurate. This will help ICE ensure they don’t detain people using the wrong paperwork, which is really embarrassing in court!
6. Document document document! Even if the ICE agents aren’t speaking directly to you, make sure you document them following orders like the good government employees they are. Photos and videos are great for catching them in heroic action, but if your phone might scare them too much, just write everything down as soon as you can.
7. Study photos and other materials they want you to look at carefully. Just because none of us are or know any illegal people doesn’t mean we can’t try our best to help! Take as much time as you need to make sure you don’t overlook something that may be of use to ICE.
8. If the ICE agents seem like they’re about to do something without crossing every possible t and dotting absolutely every i, or if they are making you uncomfortable in any way, insist on speaking with their supervisor. If you’re a US citizen deficient in melanin, this is an especially safe and effective way to ensure that ICE does everything right.
9. When in doubt, reach out! There are many local and national organizations that can help with questions and concerns about immigration raids. See the resources below.
Together, we can all ensure that ICE agents do their very best. Sure, it means they probably won’t be able to separate as many immigrant families as they’re striving for, but don’t you think that quality trumps quantity? Sure it does!
Here are some links to some good resources, and an article showing some of these techniques in action. Most of these are written from the point of view of protecting immigrants, but remember, every time you employ these techniques, you’re protecting an ICE agent from committing a moral atrocity, or at the very least assisting them with staying within the confines of the law, which is sure to help them when they’re facing charges in international criminal courts. Everybody wins!
ACLU Texas: How to Protect Yourself During an Immigration Raid
ACLU: KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Immigrants’ Rights, Dreamers (DACA, 100 Mile Border Zone, Enforcement at the Airport
ICE Raid Resources
Washington Post: An activist used a legal argument to stop an ICE arrest. He says others should do the same.
Newsweek: ICE Knocked, But Most Did Not Answer As Nationwide Raids Began
Huffpost: What To Do During ICE Stops