Nationwide raids to arrest thousands of undocumented immigrants have been scheduled to begin Sunday, but the final details of these raids remain uncertain. The operation was previously postponed.
What is going to happen?
The raids, conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over multiple days, will include “collateral” deportations. This means that, the authorities might detain immigrants who happened to be on the scene, even though they were not targets of the raids.
When possible, family members who are arrested together will be held in family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania. But because of space limitations, some might end up staying in hotel rooms until their travel documents can be prepared. ICE’s goal is to deport the families as quickly as possible.
Who will be affected?
ICE agents are targeting at least 2,000 immigrants who have deportation orders — some as a result of their failure to appear in court — but who remain in the country illegally. The operation is expected to take place in at least 10 major cities.
The threat of deportation has rattled immigrant communities across the country, prompted backlash from local politicians and police officials and sparked division inside the Department of Homeland Security — the agency that is charged with carrying out the deportations.
While rare, such coordinated raids have occurred under previous administrations. ICE agents have noted that the operation might have limited success because word has already spread among immigrant communities about how to avoid arrest — namely, by refusing to open the door when an agent approaches one’s home. ICE agents are not legally allowed to forcibly enter a home.
Know your rights if ICE visits your home, your place of work, or stops you at a public place.
All people living in the United States, including undocumented immigrants, have certain U.S. Constitutional rights. If you are undocumented and immigration (ICE) agents knock on your door, know that you have the following rights:
- You DON’T have to open the door.
- You have the right to REMAIN SILENT.
- You have the right to speak to a LAWYER.
For more information and resources, AILA has a very useful toolkit that you can find here.
If you, or someone you know, are fearful about your immigration status in the United States, don’t wait – CONTACT US today and seek expert help!