During the summer of 2014, thousands of Central American women, young men and children fled to the U.S.-Mexico border, calling the nation’s attention to the horrific violence ravaging Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
These asylum seekers are putting political pressure on the United States’ already broken immigration system. But in spite the dire plight of these refugees, the Obama administration is choosing to deport many asylum seekers.
DHS’ announcement in December 2015 that ICE would launch deportation raids against new arrivals has put the immigrant community in high alert, creating confusion and fear.
These raids target people who arrived during and after the 2014 surge. However, many undocumented immigrants who do not belong to this migration wave are afraid of getting caught in the net.
Undocumented immigrants can take steps to fight a deportation process. Several organizations like The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project and United We Dream have created guides for immigrants confronting ICE.
Frontera Fund brings you this “anti raid mash-up” with these guides’ highlights.
1. Contact a reputable lawyer in advance. Have his/her contact information handy. Even better, memorize it.
2. Save money for an immigration bond and the ability to pay a good lawyer. There are great organizations doing pro-bono work, but they are overwhelmed by the number of cases.
3. Identify a caretaker for your children who is willing and able to care of them.
4. Prepare power of attorney documents with temporary guardianship arrangements.
5. Gather important documents together in one place. Tell a trusted family member how to locate information and documents.
If you are subjected to a raid:
6. Do not open the door to immigration officials unless ICE has a warrant against you. Ask the officer to pass the warrant under the door to verify there is one against you.
7. Remain silent. Everything you say can be used against you. Exercise your right to remain silent.
8. Be polite but firm.
9. Do not sign any paper before talking to your attorney.
10. Explore all your options with your attorney to fight a deportation. Remain optimistic.
Let organizations know:
11. Report any raid to the United We Dream hotline: 1-844-363-1423
Being proactive and informed can save you and your family from deportation so you can keep contributing to the USA’s greatness.