By: Na’Tianna Stocker (@_natianna)
It is important that you know how to act and react when dealing with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents. ICE agents are federal law enforcement employees who enforce immigration laws in the United States and investigate any terrorist and criminal activities amongst “aliens” in the United States.
The first thing you want to do when an ICE agent approaches you is to remain calm. If you are not within the comfort of your home, do not run, argue, resist or try and fight with the officer. DO NOT lie to the officer or provide any documents that are not true. Comply with the officer but remember, you do have the right to remain silent.
If you are at home and an ICE agent knocks on your door, it is best to stay silent and not open the door for them. If they do not have a signed warrant, they do not have the right to enter your home. Also, if necessary, tell them to slide the warrant under the door for verification before allowing the officer(s) in your home. You have the right to not speak to them about anything; anything you say the agents are permitted to use that against you in the court of law. If you do not have an attorney present with you, do not sign any papers that are given to you.
Whether you are approached by an ICE at your home or outside of your home, report the “raid”. Try and write down everything that happened and include their badge number, name and even their tags if you can get that. Pictures and videos are also necessary if you intend to fight back. (which is strongly encouraged!)
Here are some of your rights to remember if you are pulled over or approached by an immigrant officer:
The right to remain silent
The right to not allow them to search you (especially if there is no probable cause)
The right to show them your immigration paper
If detained, you have the right to a telephone to contact an attorney/lawyer or family member, immediately and the police cannot listen to the call with your lawyer
If you are a bystander of an incident involving ICE in a public place, it is okay to record. Officers do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy when they are on the clock. When recording, keep your distance and do not interfere. The officers cannot seize or force you to show them anything you have recorded or taken pictures of. If an officer tells you to stop recording, nicely tell them that you do not consent to stop your footage and it is your right to do so under the First Amendment. The officer may get upset and arrest you for not complying and that is unlawful.
If you are a victim or a bystander of a raid performed by an ICE agent, please report it immediately to the UWD hotline at 1-800-3631423.