When an ICE Agent Knocks on Your Door in Chicago

Although Trump’s threats of a mass roundup of undocumented immigrants have failed to materialize, advocacy groups are urging people who may be targeted by ICE to be prepared in case an immigration agent knocks on their door. Trump originally threatened that ICE would conduct mass raids and arrests of undocumented immigrants in June, but he agreed to postpone the action for a couple of weeks to allow Congress more time to reach an agreement on immigration reform. He subsequently announced that the raids would occur in early July, but the date came and went without mass arrests. The threats prompted cities across the U.S., including Chicago, to post emergency numbers and to engage in educational campaigns so immigrants would know their rights.

What to Do if ICE Arrives

Undocumented immigrants should know their rights if ICE agents show up at their homes. People should not open their doors and should instead ask if the agents have a warrant from inside of their homes. If the agents say they do, the immigrants should ask them to slip it under the door instead of opening it. A warrant should have the immigrant’s name and address and should have a judge’s signature. A removal order is not the same as an arrest warrant and should not prompt a person to open the door. People also are not required to answer any questions they are asked. If agents have arrest warrants, only the people who are named in them should step outside. If they have a search warrant, the people will have to allow them to search their homes.

If ICE agents try to force their way inside of a home, people should announce loudly that they do not consent to the entry. They should then ask for a Chicago immigration lawyer. People who are arrested should exercise their rights to remain silent. They should not sign anything or provide the agents with their identification. They also should not agree to be fingerprinted.

If ICE agents approach someone in public, the person should ask if he or she is under arrest. If an arrest is not occurring, the person can leave. A person who is arrested should ask for an attorney and has the right to request bail. Finally, people should document the raid by taking pictures or video. It is possible to fight against removal proceedings.