February 2020 | Español
With threats of increased ICE enforcement actions in communities across the United States, you can prepare to protect yourself and your family, and defend your rights.
1. Create a safety plan in advance:
- Identify your emergency contact and memorize their phone number
- Provide your child’s school or day care with the emergency contact to pick up your child
- Provide authorization for your emergency contact to make medical and legal decisions for your child
- Keep your passport, identity information, proof of physical presence in the U.S. and financial information in a safe location. Make sure your emergency contact can access them.
- Read more about guardianship considerations for immigrants in Illinois (PDF). Read more about guardianship considerations for immigrants in Indiana (PDF).
2. Obey traffic and criminal laws and carry a valid state ID and/or work permit.
- Do not carry any false/fraudulent documents that do not correspond to your identity.
3. Exercise your rights during an enforcement action:
- If you are pulled over in a traffic stop: Ask if the officer is from the local police department or immigration. Immigration officers often identify themselves as “police,” but it is important to know what agency they represent. If they are Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, you do not need to answer any questions or provide any documentation before you speak with a lawyer.
- Ask the officer if they are “ICE”—be sure to say “ICE” and not police
- In Illinois, passengers in vehicles are NOT required to have identification
- If an officer knocks on your door: Do not open the door. Officers must have a warrant signed by a judge to enter your home. ICE warrants are not signed by judges.
- If you are outdoors and think you see immigration officers nearby:
- Move to a safe indoor space
- If you are a U.S. citizen and feel safe to do so, record the activity with your phone or write down any relevant information about what you witness—ALWAYS being careful to not interfere or otherwise obstruct the operation
- All people have the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions or show any documents to an immigration officer. Ask to speak with a lawyer.
- DO NOT:
- Post unverified information on social media
- Interfere with the investigation or otherwise put yourself in harm’s way
If you need support:
24-Hour Emergency Support: Call the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) Family Support Hotline at 1-855-HELP-MY-FAMILY (1-855-435-7693). For additional resources, visit: https://www.icirr.org/community-resources
Immigration legal representation: Chicago residents are eligible for free legal services from the National Immigrant Justice Center (NJIC) through the City of Chicago Legal Protection Fund. Immigrants outside Chicago also can obtain low-cost legal consultations and representation from NIJC. Call (312) 660-1370 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment. If you live outside of Chicago, you can find the national directory of free and low-cost qualified legal service providers at immigrationadvocates.org/nonprofit/legaldirectory