By attorney Cynthia Milian
Imagine—it’s a normal workweek day. You go to work. Then, the unexpected happens. Immigration officials conduct a raid and you find yourself in immigration custody.
While this is not the fear that we would like for you to live with, it is a new reality.
Recently, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE, have ramped up their efforts to raid employment locations that employ undocumented workers. Recent statistics revealed by ICE demonstrated that from October 1, 2017, through May 4, 2018, the Agency has opened: 3,510 worksite investigations; initiated 2,282 I-9 audits; and made 594 criminal and 610 administrative worksite-related arrests. However, from around October 2016 to September 2017 – the Homeland Security Agency (HSI) opened 1,716 worksite investigations; initiated 1,360 I-9 audits; and made 139 criminal arrests and 172 administrative arrests related to worksite enforcement. The HIS Director stated that these raids will continue to happen and these numbers will continue to increase.
With a large number of raids occurring, it is always good to have a plan in action. Below are some tips that you can follow to be prepared:
- If arrested, remain silent with the ICE agent;
- Consult with an attorney to see if you qualify for an immigration benefit;
- If you have an attorney, carry their contact information with you at all times;
- Know your alien registration number, also known as A number. Also, make sure your family members know this number to track you if you are taken to a detention center;
- Don’t sign any documents unless you speak with an attorney;
- If you hear about a raid that has happened at a location, stay away from that location;
- Have a plan of action with your family—always have a designated family member or friend that can care for your children in case you are arrested.
At the Powers Law Group, we like to be optimistic about the future. However, given the massive number of ICE raids going on across the country, we feel that it is our duty to communicate and educate our clients and the public about what to do if they were to get caught in this unfortunate situation.
As always, contact the immigration attorneys at the Powers Law Group. We are here to help you every step of the way and to answer any questions regarding your immigration matters.