Recently, a spokesman from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the arrests of hundreds of individuals in sanctuary cities. The arrests, which nabbed 170 individuals, took place in the second week of October 2020 in places that limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement measures.
While many of the arrested individuals had criminal convictions or pending charges, others had no prior interaction with immigration officials or police officers. If these arrests set you on edge, you may want to develop a plan for interacting with ICE officers or other immigration authorities.
The U.S. Constitution protects you
Even if you have no valid immigration status, the U.S. Constitution provides basic protections to you. Among others, these include the right to remain silent, the right to have a lawyer present during a custodial interrogation, the right to due process and the right not to incriminate yourself.
Officers may reach you anywhere
While immigration enforcement tends to be less common in sanctuary cities, ICE officers may contact you anywhere inside the U.S.
When developing your plan for interacting with officers, you may need separate strategies for contact at your home, place of employment, shopping centers or other places. After all, how you respond may depend on where you are.
You may have limited access to information
In the immediate aftermath of an ICE arrest, you may have limited access to your personal belongings, including your cellphone. Consequently, you may want to memorize the telephone number and other contact details of a trusted friend, relative or attorney.