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- Immigration Raids in 2016
- Your Rights as an Immigrant
- Your Responsibilities When Speaking with an Agent or Officer
- Preparation for Yourself and Your Family
- If Someone in Your Family is Arrested
- Immigration Status Legal Resources
- Community Resources to Fight against Deportations and Raids
Immigration Raids in 2016
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will be conducting nationwide raids beginning on January 2, 2016. These raids have been reported in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
- 121 families have been arrested during the raids, with 71 being children and 50 adults, mostly mothers. 77 individuals were transferred to the Dilley Detention Center in Texas.
- DHS indicated that these raids will be directed toward adults and children who:
- Were apprehended on or after May 1, 2014 on the border between the U.S. and Mexico;
- Have a final order of removal issued by an Immigration Court; and
- Do not have an appeal pending.
- These raids are primarily directed against recent entrants from Central America. However, this does not mean that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the enforcement arm of the DHS, will not conduct raids against other individuals or communities. In November 2014, DHS issued a memo indicating that the government is prioritizing enforcement against the following:
- Priority 1:
- immigrants suspected of terrorism or espionage or otherwise pose a danger to national security;
- immigrants apprehended at the border or a port of entry attempting to enter the U.S. unlawfully; and
- immigrants with certain convictions.
- Priority 2:
- immigrants convicted of certain misdemeanors;
- immigrants apprehended while unlawfully entering or re-entering the U.S. and cannot show they were present continuously since January 1, 2014; and
- immigrants who have abused the visa or visa waiver programs.
- Priority 3: individuals with removal orders on or after January 1, 2014.
- Priority 1:
- It is important that individuals prepare themselves and their families if they believe they might be a target of these raids. It is important that anyone who is undocumented, though not considered a priority under the DHS memo (as mentioned above), prepare an emergency plan and contact an immigration attorney to assess his or her case.
- If a raid has been conducted against you or a family member in New Mexico, please call El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos at (505) 246-1627.
- Please see below, “Your Rights as an Immigrant” for more information.
Your Rights as an Immigrant
If immigration (ICE) comes to your home, remember the following:
DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR
All immigrants in the United States, whether documented or undocumented:
- HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT – If an officer approaches you, you have the right to remain silent and not provide any information unless you are detained (detained means that you are not allowed to walk away from the officer and the officer has communicated this to you). If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud. If you are detained, depending on the situation, you are required to provide your name or identification. If you believe that providing your name or identification might incriminate you, ask to speak to a lawyer before you provide your name or identification.
- HAVE THE RIGHT NOT TO BE SEARCHED – You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car or your home.
- Home: If ICE or a police officer goes to your home, do not open the door. Both, ICE and police officers, need a search warrant to enter your home that is signed by a judge. Arrest warrants or deportation orders are not enough. Because it may be difficult to determine the difference among the warrants and orders, it may be better to not open your door and wait for the officers to enter your home. If they have a search warrant, they will. If they don’t, they likely won’t. Call an attorney if you believe an officer entered your home and did not have a search warrant.
- HAVE THE RIGHT TO AN ATTORNEY – You have a right to obtain an attorney. In criminal cases, you have a right to have an attorney appointed free of charge if you cannot afford one. In immigration cases, you have a right to an attorney but will have to pay for your attorney. See “Immigration Status Legal Resources” below for more info on how to obtain an immigration attorney.
- HAVE THE RIGHT NOT TO SIGN ANYTHING WITHOUT SPEAKING WITH AN ATTORNEY – You have the right to ask for an attorney before signing a document. It’s important that you do not sign any document that you don’t understand or can’t read. If you already have an attorney, do not sign anything before speaking to him or her.
Your Responsibilities When Speaking with an Agent or Officer
- Do not lie and do not give false documents.
- Ask if you are under arrest. If you are, you have the right to know why you are arrested. Do not resist and stay calm.
- Remember as many details of the encounter as possible and write them down as quickly as you can.
Preparation for Yourself and Your Family
- Prepare an Emergency Plan in case you or a family member is arrested by the police or detained by immigration (ICE).
- Plan for the Care of Your Children: plan on who will take care of your children if you are arrested or detained. Also, keep a document with emergency phone numbers such as phone numbers for your family, doctors, or work.
- Emergency Financial Plan: save enough money to cover your rent (or mortgage) and other costs for at least a month to ensure that your family has enough money while you are unable to work.
- Keep important documents: save any documents related to your immigration status, your home, or important accounts. If you have an immigration case pending, keep those documents on your person.
- Memorize the numbers of your family members and attorney: in case you are unable to get access to your cell phone, keep certain phone numbers memorized so you can call in case you need assistance.
- Make Extra Keys for your Home and/or Car: it is important that your family have keys for your home and/or car in case you are arrested or detained and they need access to your home and/or car.
- Know Your Medical Condition: if you have a medical condition, it is important that you know the name of that condition and any prescription drugs you take so that you can explain any medication that you may need.
If Someone in Your Family is Arrested
- If someone is arrested by the police in Albuquerque, call (505) 839-8700 to contact the Metropolitan Detention Center. If the person was detained by immigration in Albuquerque, call (505) 453-5700. If the person is transferred to El Paso, TX, call (915) 255-0885 (the ICE Processing Center) or search for the persons on ICE’s detainer locator: https://locator.ice.gov/odls/homePage.do.
Immigration Status Legal Resources
- Call the New Mexico Immigrant Center (NMILC) to see if you qualify for our services at (505) 247-1023. You can also call a private attorney that can assess your situation and NMILC can provide referrals if you need any.
Community Resources to Fight against Deportations and Raids
- El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos, located in Albuquerque, NM, advocates on behalf of immigrants and their rights. El CENTRO has more information regarding your rights. You can find this information on their website at: elcentronm.org. You can also call them if you want to participate and organize against deportations and raids at (505) 246-1627.
- Somos un Pueblo Unido, which has offices in Santa Fe, NM and Roswell, NM, advocates for immigrant rights across the state. You can call them to participate and organize against deportations and raids at (505) 424-7832 or you can visit their website at: somosunpueblounido.org.