Prepare for ICE Raids - CHIRLA "Know Your Rights!" Video

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In light of widespread predawn raids as part of Operation Return to Sender, the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) prepared an informational video on how to prepare for an ICE raid.

The video plays out different scenarios in which undocumented immigrants commonly come into contact with ICE or local law enforcement, including workplace and home raids, as well as routine traffic stops.  In the clip, you see people reacting in ways that can reduce their risk of being deported, and you see people reacting in ways that greatly increase that risk.  The narrators explain how to assert your rights in different situations.  It is worth watching--certainly for migrants--but also for friends, family, and advocates who might be in a position to explain to others what to do and what not to do when confronted by ICE.

The video can be ordered here and a subtitled Spanish/English version can be viewed here.

CHIRLA edited a shorter version for YouTube (currently w/o subtitles), above, which at present appears to be sadly underviewed.  Help get the word out about this great resource and get those page views up! 

The "Know Your Rights" card described in the video can be printed up here (pdf).  CASA of Maryland also has a good illustrated guide for preparing for an ICE raid available in English and Spanish (pdfs).   

For an idea of just what has been going on with these raids, Seton Hall Law School's Center for Social Justice recently sued ICE on behalf of several plaintiffs who had experienced unconstitutional predawn raids by ICE agents.  The Seton Hall press release describes the aggressive, inhumane, and unlawful tactics ICE has used to target migrants for the past two years as part of Operation Return to Sender.

Seton Hall Law School's Center for Social Justice and Lowenstein Sandler, PC, filed suit today in federal court, alleging that federal law enforcement officials violated the ten victims' constitutional privacy and due process rights under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments by entering their homes without consent or a judicial warrant during pre-dawn "raids." The plaintiffs include two U.S. citizens, a permanent resident, and a lawful protection-status grantee.

The complaint is based on eight home raids across the state of New Jersey between August 2006 and January 2008. The raids all follow a similar pattern, in which immigration agents forced their way into each plaintiff's home in the early hours of the morning without a judicial warrant or the occupants' consent. Most of the plaintiffs were awakened by loud pounding on their doors and answered the door, fearing an emergency. ICE agents subsequently either lied about their identity or purpose to gain entry, or simply shoved their way into the home. During each raid the agents swept through the house and, displaying guns, rounded up all the residents for questioning. In some cases they ordered children out of their beds, shouted obscenities, shoved guns into residents' chests, and forbade detained individuals from calling their lawyers. In at least half the raids, the officers purported to be searching for a person who did not even live at the address raided.

The complaint asserts that these practices are not isolated violations, but are examples of a clear modus operandi typical of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") program called "Operation Return to Sender."   Under this program, the complaint alleges, ICE agents have been ordered to meet dramatically increased immigrant arrest quotas using grossly outdated address information and without having been trained on lawful procedures.

. . . 

ICE claims that Operation Return to Sender was designed to arrest criminals and individuals with old deportation orders, people whom ICE calls "fugitives." But the statistics belie this explanation. Of the 2,079 people arrested in New Jersey last year under this program, 87% had no criminal record, and as few as 1 in 3 were "fugitives" with outstanding deportation orders. These statistics demonstrate that the program has been used as a pretext for dragnet searches in which ICE makes thousands of what it euphemistically calls "collateral arrests" of people like the plaintiffs in today's suit.

. . .

"None of the home raids in today's case involved valid warrants allowing the agents to enter, and none of the residents gave consent," noted plaintiffs' attorney Scott Thompson, of Lowenstein Sandler.  "The Constitution is very clear about the circumstances under which law enforcement may enter a private home, and the entries in this case did not even come close."

According to the complaint, the constitutional violations did not cease once agents had entered the homes. For example, plaintiff Maria Argueta, a legal resident, was arrested in her home at 4:30 in the morning and detained for 24 hours without food or water; the agents lied to get into her home then refused to even to look at her immigration papers proving her status. Agents shoved a gun into the chest of another plaintiff and screamed obscenities at her. Numerous ICE agents and local Penns Grove police officers stormed yet another plaintiff's house at three in the morning with guns drawn, without a search warrant, claiming they were looking for her brother, whom the government had actually deported at least two years earlier.

You can view more details, including the complaint and news coverage of the suit, here.


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2 Comments

Rocky said:

Fantastic.
I am amazed how "unChristian" many people are when it comes to undocumented aliens. Few people complain when the Masters is won by a South African or the NBA has players from all over the world.
This is a great work! Muchissimas gracias.
We are having the same problems with ICE agents (sometimes posing as police or teachers) coming on to public school premises.
Do you have an advisory for school districts, teachers, and educational personnel regarding ICE raids?

yave begnet said:

I haven't seen an advisory like that, but I will keep my eyes open for one. Some communities have had some success in keeping ICE out if community members band together and make it clear ICE is not welcome. This is one of the reasons we haven't seen large employer raids in places like NYC.

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This page contains a single entry by David Bennion published on April 8, 2008 1:01 AM.

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