Three Things All of Us Can Do to Protect Ourselves and Our Neighbors In An ICE Encounter

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As of today, the ICE raids set for this weekend are still on the Trump administration’s agenda to crack down on immigrants who are residing in the U.S. without documentation. The basic plan is to go after undocumented immigrants whose whereabouts are known and who are currently under deportation orders. A report in the New York Times revealed that approximately 2,000 people are being targeted by this plan, though ICE agents are prepared to detain any other immigrants who happen “to be on the scene.”

In light of this report, immigration advocates and public figures have been actively spreading resources to the public about what we are legally required to do in the event of a raid. Here are three things that all of us should know in case of an ICE raid that can help protect our immigrant communities and neighbors, regardless of legal residency status. 

Record and Report

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Hilary Clinton urged her followers to share a digital flyer from United We Dream, an immigrant youth-led organization that actively campaigns for legislation that protects the community. Their Know Your Power: Record and Report flyer outlines what we should do in any encounter with ICE agents while at home, at work, and in public. 

One thing you’ll want to do immediately — like, after you are finished reading this — is to make sure that your recordings and photos are linked to a cloud where they can be accessed by someone you trust. That way, if you are apprehended by authorities or if your device goes missing, the evidence of your encounter from your perspective is accessible in case it is needed. 

In any recording you take, make sure you get basic information like the name, badge number, and agency of law enforcement agent who has stopped you. Also, don’t forget to say on camera when and where this encounter is taking place. Video and photographic documentation of these encounters can then be reported to United We Dream’s MigraWatch Hotline at

Do Not Open the Door Unless Agents Allow You to Inspect a Signed Judicial Warrant

AOC shared a link to a site that informs people how to handle their rights in seven different languages, and offered a few bits of information on what to do and what not to do via her Twitter account. “Remember: no one can enter you home without a judicial warrant. Sometimes ICE will try to show other papers to get in your house.” 

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She emphasized that no one is legally obligated to open their doors to ICE agents unless those agents actually have a signed judicial warrant, aka arrest warrant. Form I-205, on the other hand (a warrant of removal or deportation) does not allow authorities to enter your home without your consent, whether or not you are an undocumented immigrant or have one in your home. The bottom line is that it is best to communicate with them through the door until you are certain they have a signed judicial warrant that grants them entry into your home. 

Reduce the Risk of Harm

When interacting with law enforcement, you do not want to do or say anything that will end up hurting you physically or legally. There are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of harm. 

Unless you live in a state that requires you to identify yourself, the ACLU reminds us all of our Fifth Amendment right to remain silent if stopped or detained by law enforcement. When in doubt, regardless of if you are a documented citizen of the U.S., you may say out loud that you are exercising your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. 

Beyond that, never lie or provide fake documents to authorities, and do not sign anything unless you have consulted with a lawyer. An important distinction between being detained by police or by ICE agents is that you are entitled to a government-appointed lawyer if you are in police custody; if you are in ICE custody, the government is not required to provide you with a lawyer. However, in both cases, you have the legal right to consult with a lawyer.

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