California: ICE Raids

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Updated: January 2018

Given recent threats of large scale ICE raids, the ACLU of Northern California wants to make sure you know your rights and have access to rapid response hotlines set up in the Northern California region. (see below). For more information, see Know Your Rights: If ICE Confronts You.

Know your rights if ICE confronts you

Independent of your citizenship status, you have constitutional rights!

  • Do NOT open your door. ICE can’t come into your home unless they have a signed search warrant or you let them in. If officers are at your door, ask them to pass the warrant under the door before you open it. An arrest warrant (or an administrative warrant of removal) is not enough to come inside you home. If ICE officers want to enter your home, they must have a valid judicial search warrant that says the officers have a right to enter or search that particular address or areas specified. If the agents don’t speak your language, ask for an interpreter.

  • Check out the warrant. Look at the top and at the signature line to see if it was issued by a court and signed by a judge. Only a court/judge warrant grants ICE permission to enter your premises. One issued by DHS or ICE and signed by a DHS or ICE employee does not.

Example of order by a judge

Example of order by ICE

  • Do NOT resist If ICE agents force their way in. Say “I do not consent to your entry,” but do not physically resist.

  • Tell them you want to speak to a lawyer. ICE can use anything you say against you in your immigration case, so claim your right to remain silent! Say, "I want to speak to a lawyer and choose to remain silent."

  • Do NOT sign. Be careful what you sign. ICE might ask you to sign forms agreeing to be deported without first seeing a judge.

  • Afraid to go back? If you get arrested and there is a final order for your deportation, be sure to let agents know if you have a fear of returning to your home country.

  • Find an attorney. If you get detained, don't give up hope! Get a trustworthy lawyer and explore all options to fight deportation.

  • Report raids or checkpoints. (see Rapid Response numbers below)

  • Document. If it’s possible, take photos, videos, and notes on exactly what happened. Write down badge numbers. Note if ICE interferes with your right to take photos or video.

  • Download the ACLU’s Mobile Justice App and use it to document raids or report ICE actions.

Find a person in detention

Be prepared

Make sure your family knows:

  • Your A number so they can find you if you get arrested;

  • The phone number of a trusted resource for immigration legal advice; and

  • Which friends and relatives can help with family obligations.

For information on what to do if ICE comes to your workplace, click here

For more Know Your Rights information click here

Northern California Local Rapid Response Hotlines

The following are hotline numbers for local rapid response networks. These numbers are meant for EMERGENCIES ONLY to report ICE activity and enforcement actions. 

  • San Mateo Rapid Response Network
    Region covered: San Mateo County (203) 666-4472

  • Central Valley Rapid Response Network
    Region covered: Fresno County San Joaquin, Merced, and Kern Counties (559) 206-0151

  • Sacramento Rapid Response
    Region covered: Sacramento County (916) 245-6773

  • Humboldt Rapid Response Network 
    Region covered: Humboldt County (707) 282-5226
  • Services, Immigration Rights and Education Network (SIREN) Rapid Response Text Platform
    Region covered: Northern & Central California
    Community members: (201) 468-6088
    Allies: (918) 609-4480 

If law enforcement enters your home without consent or a warrant or is threatening or abusive, contact the ACLU of Northern California

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