The government is waging a war on immigrants across the country. South Carolina is among the battlefields. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has targeted the state with raids.
As an immigrant living in South Carolina, you have rights. ICE agents may imply otherwise, but it is true.
Protect yourself at home
Immigration agents knocking on your door can feel like an invasion of your privacy. In many ways, it is. Keep this advice in mind:
- You do not have to open the door.
- Ask to see their search warrant. Agents can slip it under the door. Only what is on the warrant is subject to search. Check the warrant to make sure the information is correct and a judge signed it. Tell agents they cannot search if the warrant is missing information.
- You have the right to remain silent. Tell agents you are exercising this right. You do not have to answer their questions.
- If you choose to speak, go outside and close the door behind you.
- Do not lie to agents.
- Do not sign anything.
Protect yourself at work
Your personal behavior is important when immigration agents show up at your workplace. Some people may react in an incorrect manner, attempting to flee or challenge the agents. Here is what you should do:
- Above all, remain calm. Do not do anything that draws attention to you.
- Walk toward an exit. If an agent orders you to stop, do so.
- Again, you do not have to answer questions. Tell the agent that you are exercising your right to remain silent.
- Do not make any false statements or present false documents.
You can lessen the drama of a workplace raid by speaking with your co-workers. Plan how they will react to prevent any problems.
Protect your rights
Knowing your rights is confusing. Different people will tell you different things. Always remember: Just because they carry government identification does not mean they are right.
Immigrants and their families have rights under the U.S. Constitution, even in the case of criminal accusations. Understanding these rights can be crucial to your future in America.