If you have been following the news recently, you have heard about increased raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Yes, ICE is conducting raids in search of those who have committed crimes, have orders of deportation or simply undocumented. It is important that you know your rights and what to do if and when ICE agents knock on your door. You have constitutional rights!
ICE agents may only enter you home with a warrant, unless you give them permission. NO warrant means you do not have to allow access or answer any questions if you do not want to. If there is a warrant, the ICE agents may only have access to the location or information that is listed in the warrant.
What Happens If I am Taken into Custody?
If you are visited by an ICE agent you may be taken into custody. Often times when someone is taken into custody, ICE will attempt to obtain an agreement by the person to exit the U.S. voluntarily. You do not have to sign anything you do not understand or do not agree to. You have a right to speak with an attorney before you sign anything.
Often times your family or friends will assist you in obtaining an attorney while you are in custody. In order to help the attorney get in touch with you and your ICE agent as quickly as possible it is important you provide your family members with the following basic information: 1.) Alien number assigned by ICE, 2.) Country of birth, 3.) Birth date, 4.) Phone numbers of where you are located, and 5.) Why you were taken into custody, ie. Raid, criminal offense, etc.
Additional information that the attorney will need from you will include Information on any 1.) criminal history, ie. DUIs, Public Intoxication, Battery, etc., 2.) Any prior deportation orders or removals at the border, 3.) Why you entered the U.S., and 4.) When you entered the U.S. Based on your answers, the attorney will make an assessment on what steps can be taken to assist you, if any.
What Happens if I have a Prior Deportation Order?
If you have an order of deportation against you, you will not be granted another hearing. Often times ICE will simply make arrangements for you to be deported unless there are some special circumstances, like a claim of asylum, pending application for relief, etc. Each case is different. The facts and circumstances of each person vary and require careful consideration in determining what can be done to assist, if anything. The assistance of an attorney is recommended to help guide you through all the steps, forms and legal arguments that are required.
Under an Order of Supervision?
Home visits by ICE when someone is under an Order of Supervision are not a raid or sweep. Home visits are an ongoing project by ICE to ensure that those under the program are in compliance. Typically, the ICE official will give you notice of their intended visit date and time. If you are authorized to work, you should make sure that your ICE official knows how to contact you during work hours and, if possible, when you typically work. Remember if a person under an Order of Supervision fails to be at home when an ICE home visit occurs, the consequences could result in detention by ICE until an order of Removal and Deportation can be obtained to remove the individual. Reports from Immigration attorneys nationally indicate that these visits are expected to continue.
If you are under an Order of Supervision, you must keep your address that you live at updated with ICE and the Immigration Courts. Any documents you receive from the Courts or ICE should be read and complied with immediately. If you cannot comply or do not understand how to comply, see the assistance of a licensed immigration attorney immediately. DO NOT TRUST NON-LICENSED IMMIGRATION SERVICES AND NOTARIOS. Failure to comply or correct a problem could likely lead to your being taken back into custody until an order of removal is entered against you. Additionally, your family member or friend, who posted bond for you, will likely lose that bond money.
If you or someone you know needs advice about your immigration case, please contact Griffith Law Group for a free consultation. Our phone number is (317) 236-0486, or visit us at 5150 Pike Plaza Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46224 or at www.indyimmigrationlaw.com.
Stay tuned next month when we discuss what other forms of immigration relief might be available to you or loved ones.