Over the holidays, there were reports that DHS/ICE were planning on beginning a massive deportation program targeting families and children who fled violence and poverty in Central America. These reports were confirmed yesterday after reports came out of both Georgia and Maryland, where women and children as young as 4 years old were taken by authorities and placed in a detention center.
The information that we have obtained suggests that people (most likely from Central America) that have entered the country in the last two years and have failed to go to court when they were supposed to OR people that went to court and the judge ordered deportation on them are the targets of these raids. Other reports suggest that people with removal orders in general could also be targeted. If you know of anyone that fits this profile, please contact us immediately.
We are working hard with multiple organizations across the state and the U.S. to protect our community but here is a reminder of basic rights that everyone has in the event of an ICE raid:
- Do not open the door for ICE. ICE can only come in and search your property if they have a signed warrant. Ask them to slide this warrant under the door before opening. ICE is known for sometimes tricking people into opening the door by telling you they are looking for someone else or they have information about a loved one. Do not fall into this trap.
- If ICE or the Police asks you a question, you do not have to answer. Tell them you will only answer questions in the presence of your attorney. Do not lie, do not give any false documents. You have to give them your name but you do not have to answer any other questions.
- If you are at work, on the street or in a public place, ask the police or immigration agent if you are free to go. If they say yes, walk away slowly and calmly.
- If ICE or the police pressures you to sign a document, do not sign.
- Take pictures and video of the officials. Write down the names and badge names of the law enforcement officials and call us for help.
For more detailed information about what to do in the event of a raid check out these KYRs booklets in English or Spanish. You can call us Monday-Friday to 203-787-0191 or in case of an emergency at 787-406-1888.