Hi Everyone! Let’s talk about the July 24, 2019 ICE Memo to all ICE employees: “Implementation of July 2019 Designation of Aliens Subject to Expedited Removal.”
First, let’s stop using the terms ‘alien’ or ‘illegal’. Undocumented individuals are not illegal or aliens. We are all One under GOD.
This memo about expedited removal is another politically-motivated scare tactic, but let’s unpack it and go over some recommendations nonetheless.
The memo says it applies to undocumented individuals encountered by officers anywhere in the United States. But, remember you have the right to remain silent! If any type of officer asks you questions, you may politely say, “I’m sorry, but my attorney is very particular and does not want me to answer any questions unless she is with me.” The officer may act like everything will be okay if you just answer a few questions, but it’s best to ask them if you are free to leave. Officers are allowed to approach people and ask questions just like anyone else, but they need a reason to detain you. You also don’t need to open your door to officers without a warrant signed by a judge. You could politely ask the officers to please slide the warrant under the door, saying you’ll be asking your attorney whether the warrant is sufficient for you to open the door. If they actually have a ‘warrant’, text a picture of it to your attorney to find out what it actually might be. If you are driving (which is probably one of the riskiest things undocumented people do!) you would need to show your license and registration if pulled over. But passengers in the vehicle don’t have to show their IDs. And you always have the right to remain silent. Anything you tell an officer can and will be used against you. If an officer asks if they can search, you can always say no thank you. That is what a search warrant is for.
If you or a loved one has been detained, as the memo says, ICE may be asking for proof the individual has been present in the United States continuously for the past two years. Examples of this proof could be leases, medical records, bills, letters, school records, receipts, registrations, photos, tax records, birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc. It’s always a good idea to have important civil documents, and English translations as needed, on standby should you ever need them. Also, if you or an immediate family member has a serious medical condition, it can be helpful to have those medical records on hand to show the officers that your family is in a uniquely dire situation should any member of the family be detained. For example, if you are detained and your husband has a disability and won’t be able to take care of your children without you, have your husband’s medical records available should you be detained. You’d also need to have on hand your marriage certificate, your children’s birth certificates, etc. But, again, do not give the officers any information without first consulting with an attorney. You do not know what information could be used against you potentially in immigration court. Also keep in mind there can be serious immigration consequences for falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen.
Should anyone be detained, in case-by-case determinations, ICE may grant a local bond. Or the individual, if detained in North Carolina, could be transported to an immigration detention center in Georgia. Contact an immigration attorney about requesting a bond and representation in immigration court proceedings.
Just remember – stay calm and call an attorney!
And please vote if you’re a U.S. citizen!
This is a blog and is not official legal advice. It is always best to have an attorney review your particular case and make a specific determination. Guirguis Law attorneys prefer to begin with a Freedom of Information Act Request to request a history of your immigration file. Please call (919) 832-0500 should you have any questions.