For individuals who are living in the United States without proper documentation, the fear of deportation is real. With the raids recently conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in cities throughout the nation, it brings to light an important question. Do you know what to do if immigration knocks on your door?
The best thing you can do is to be prepared. In addition to getting information about your rights and who might be of help at a deportation proceeding, it is also a good idea to make a plan for who will care for those who are dependent upon you for care, such as the elderly or children. If you are taken into custody, it is important to have the numbers of at least two trusted people, memorized so that you can call them.
Should a raid occur, don’t open the door until you have seen that the officers have a warrant that is signed by a judge and has the name of the person they are seeking and your address written upon it. Should they take you into custody, though they will not inform you, you don’t need to say anything. If you do disclose any information it may later be used against you. Along the same lines, it is important to avoid signing any paperwork an ICE agent may give you.
It is important to recognize that you can fight your deportation. While documenting and reporting the raid may help with this, in most cases, working with an immigration lawyer is the best course of action.