Categories: New York City
The Network offers tips to supportive housing providers for protecting residents.
The Trump administration ramped up its attack on immigrants this summer, announcing plans to fast-track deportations with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids and arrests, including in New York City. Last month, for the first time since Trump’s election, ICE tried to raid a homeless shelter. On the evening of August 6th, ICE attempted to enter Win’s East New York shelter with just a photo of the person they wanted to detain. Thankfully, Win’s security guards knew their rights. When the ICE agent failed to produce a judge-signed warrant, they were denied entry.
Let’s make sure our entire community knows our rights and protects our undocumented and immigrant clients, tenants, and neighbors. Security, providers, clients, and tenants can be prepared for ICE showing up to their shelter or residences, and to support anyone who may be living in fear of deportation.
Know Your Rights. What to do if ICE comes to your building:
- If you know ICE is in the area, lock your door(s). Locking a door makes a space “private.”
- Ask any approaching officer(s) for ID and where they work to see if they are from immigration. They may say “police.” If so, ask them if they are from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or ICE. They also commonly go by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Get the officers’ names and badge IDs, and write them down.
- Ask ICE to show you the correct search warrant: signed by a judge and listing the specific space. Tell them to pass it to you under the door, through the delivery slot, or to display it through the window. If they do not have a search warrant, or it is not signed by a judge, or it does not list your address, do not let them in. Ask them to pass a business card under the door and tell them your lawyer will call them.
- Recognize the right and wrong warrants. ICE may present an “Administrative Warrant” or a “Warrant of Removal/Deportation.” These are issued by DHS/ICE and are not signed by a judge. They do not entitle ICE to enter any private spaces. Take a photo of it to share with a lawyer.
- For a search warrant to entitle ICE to enter a private space, it must be signed by a judge, which means “judge,” “justice” or “magistrate” must be written next to their name. Its full title is “Search and Seizure Warrant” and must also state a date and address for the search warrant, the areas to be searched, and the “crime” they are investigating.
- Remain silent. Do not answer any questions without speaking to a lawyer. You can say: “We will not answer any questions. We wish to remain silent. Show us your judge-signed warrant.”
- If a judge-signed warrant is presented, before granting entry, DHS and its providers/vendors should immediately notify the appropriate Program Administrator and DSS General Counsel Martha Calhoun at 929-221-7327 or email@example.com. HRA facilities, including those operated by providers/vendors, should contact Martha Calhoun and also immediately notify the HRA Office of Police Operation.
- Those that are detained have the right to an attorney and should ask for one while declining to answer other questions.
- Not only do you have the right to remain silent and not disclose information, but Client’s information maintained by DSS, HRA, and DHS is confidential pursuant to federal, state, and local law, as well as agency policy. If a provider receives a request for confidential information then the request must be processed through the DSS office of Legal Affairs.
- RECORD EVERYTHING. You have the right to record law enforcement in action while continuing to ask for a warrant. Send footage to your lawyers and/or immigrant legal defense groups like the Immigrant Defense Project.
Remember, do not:
- Panic, run, or resist ICE using force.
- Identify anyone for ICE or tell them who is an immigrant.
- Sign anything. Those approached, detained, or arrested by ICE should NOT SIGN ANYTHING without talking to an attorney first. ICE may try to negotiate to make someone sign; they can and will lie and should not be believed.
- Believe ICE when they try to negotiate or ask questions - they may use various attempts to get inside such as saying that they “just want to talk”, or, “This will only take a few minutes.” Or, they might lie and say someone will get a better deal if they are compliant. Do not believe them. ICE is also known to act as local police and use deceptive methods to get inside homes or residences. Known tactics include saying, “We believe X’s identity was stolen and we need your help,” or, “We are investigating a crime and want to see if you know the person we are looking for,” or, “Is X here? We just need them to step in the hallway to talk to him.” Do not fall for these tactics. Do not give them any information.
How to Prepare:
- Train your staff.
- Mount signs to mark “private” areas, areas that are not open to the public.
- Make a plan ahead of time for your residence so that everyone is on the same page if ICE shows up.
- Print and post “know your rights” flyers to print and post around your residence or shelter.
- Distribute guidebooks to staff and/or tenants.
- Equip security and residents with "know your rights" cards to keep in their wallets or somewhere safe that they keep at all times. Instead of speaking, they can also present this to an ICE agent.
Resources for flyers, guidebooks and cards (same as linked above):
If ICE is conducting a raid or seen in your area:
- Call the rapid response lines:
- Immigrant Defense Project: 212-725-6422
- New Sanctuary Coalition: 903-884-HELP (4358)
- Record everything and send video of the encounter to local legal aid groups.
If someone has been detained:
- Talk to your lawyer, who can inquire with ICE.
- If possible, talk to the detainee’s family; someone may have power of attorney and could be allowed to obtain information from ICE.
- Contact the legal resources below.
- Legal Services hotline: 917-661-4500
- The Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) operates an ICE Raid hotline: (212) 725-6422
- Brooklyn Defender Service: (718) 254-0700, Ext. 252
- Legal Aid Society: (844) 955-3425
- Bronx Defenders: (718) 838-7878
Connect with an immigrant rights group and have your staff trained:
The Network continues to monitor how federal policies will affect our supportive housing members and their residents. If you are a member and would like to share more information with us regarding the above, please contact us.