A deportation raid is where the government comes to your house or place of work to arrest you, jail you and possibly deport you, sending you out of the country. In the US they are carried out by agents of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), part of Homeland Security.
In a typical raid, there is a knock at the door at four or five in the morning. They say it is the “police”. You open the door and then comes what some describe as:
“the most horrifying moment of their life. Nowhere to run to, no one to scream to for help.”
The ICE agents come into your home. Your children are crying and screaming. ICE is asking you questions, often in bad Spanish. They arrest whoever they feel like – citizen or not (they will sort it out later). They put you in handcuffs in front of your children and take you away.
Alexandra Suh, director of the Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA) in Los Angeles:
“It’s hard to overstate how disruptive this is, how wrenching this can be – people picked up in a raid might be the only source of income for a whole family, dressed their kids for school in the morning, cooks for their family, they might be a person supporting an elder parent or young baby. To imagine that person would be ripped away – imagine how it could affect everyone around them is extremely serious.”
Note that no sanctuary city can stop ICE from coming to your door.
You do have rights, even if undocumented:
- You do not have to open the door unless they show a warrant signed by a judge (through a window, under the door).
- You have the right to remain silent.
Once you open the door, they can come in. They will not bang down your door like the Gestapo – unless they think you are armed.
You should urge everyone in your house to remain silent, to record or write down what is going on. Badge numbers are important. Ask for a lawyer and do not say or sign anything till you do!
Have a plan of what to do if taken, especially in regard to your children.
After you are taken ICE sorts out who you are with the help of their fingerprint computer – which makes a false match 1.6% of the time. If you were not in their computer before, you are now.
If they decide to deport you, they send you to a deportation centre, part of the prison-industrial complex. You should get a hearing, but due process is not their strong point, even under Obama. If you lose, they put you in chains on an unmarked plane.
President Obama deported 2.5 million, a record, thanks in part to Clinton’s laws, Bush’s counter-terrorism computers and broken-windows policing.
President Trump wants to triple the number of ICE agents. From what he has signed so far, it seems he intends to deport maybe 9 million.
Note: That Trump deports only dangerous criminals is a lie!
– Abagond, 2017.
- Unitedwedream.org: Know your rights! (in Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, English)
- The nadir of US race relations
- racial profiling
- broken-windows policing
- US relocation of people of colour:
- Obama retrospective
- Donald Trump
- sanctuary city