ICIRR Condemns Newly Announced ICE Raids, Separation of Families

May 13, 2016

ICIRR Condemns Newly Announced ICE Raids, Separation of Families

(Chicago—May 12, 2016)  The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) condemns the recently reported month-long campaign of raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). These raids are targeting Central American children and parents who recently came to the US fleeing violence in their home countries.

This would be one of the largest deportation sweeps targeting immigrant families under the Obama administration, instilling fear in immigrant communities.

“We are angry that this is taking place once again to vulnerable people who fear for their well being in their native countries. We should be attempting to find a solution for these refugees fleeing their home countries for a better life,” said Lawrence Benito, CEO of ICIRR. “That fact that our government is separating families and sending people back to countries that cannot provide a safe home for their citizens is disappointing and heart breaking.”

During the past two years, more than 100,000 children and parents have come to the U.S. from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador -- some of the most dangerous countries in the world. More than 17,000 Central American families have been issued removal orders across the country as a result of these flawed proceedings, including nearly 800 in Illinois alone.  

ICIRR is urging families and community members who witness raids to call the Family Support Hotline, 1-855-435-7693 (855 HELP-MY-FAMILY).  ICIRR reminds immigrants of basic rights they have if immigration enforcement comes to their home:

1. No Warrant, No Access. You do NOT have to answer the door. You have the right to ask the agent (through the closed door) if he has a warrant. If the agent says he has a warrant, ask him to slide it under your door. Check if the warrant is signed by a judge or supervisor, has your name on it, and is recent.

2. Remain Silent. You have the right to remain silent! You do not have to answer any questions.

3. DON’T Sign. Do NOT sign any documents. Tell the agents you won’t sign anything until you talk with a lawyer.

4. TAKE DOWN Information. If the agents force their way into your home, take down their names and agent numbers and the license plate numbers of their vehicles.

5. If Detained, don’t sign any documents without legal counsel. You have the right to make a call. Call a family member or lawyer to tell them where you are. Memorize important phone numbers--you will not have access to your cell phone while in custody.