Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have arrived at homes across the nation in recent weeks to round up hundreds of fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and other undocumented immigrations who, in some cases, haven’t committed a crime. But immigrants can take steps to protect themselves.
The American Civil Liberties Union has warned immigrants not to open their front door unless the agents have a warrant signed by a judge, USA Today reported. “Ask to see it (through a window or slipped under the door,” a guide published in multiple languages warns.
Immigrants can also demand the agents explain why they are there and request an interpreter. If the agents can’t provide a warrent, they must leave. If the agents insist on entering the home, “don’t resist. Tell everyone in the residence to remain silent,” the ACLU said.
Immigrants who are arrested should “remain silent and do not sign anything until you speak to a lawyer,” the graphic said. “It is important that neither you nor your family members give ICE your passport,” the organization added.
The raids generally unfold early in the morning. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said this week the proceedings were “a series of targeted enforcement operations.” The arrests were made in the Los Angeles area, in the New York area and in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin, among other states.
In neighborhoods with large immigrant populations, fear has become the norm, activists said.
“What concerns us is that it is happening in multiple locations at the same time. It looks like something coordinated to create fear in the community,” said Anabella Bastida, director of the Council of Mexican Federations, of the raids. “The community is being terrorised – they think everyone is being deported.”
In June 2015, Trump kicked off his campaign by promising to deport undocumented immigrants. “When Mexico sends it people, they’re not sending their best,” he said. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”