California: ICE and Border Patrol Abuses

Be Prepared. Know Your Rights.

False information of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) actions can make people afraid to leave their homes. Earlier this year, there had been rumors of nationwide ICE “raids,” but there haven’t been mass arrests in neighborhoods or workplaces in California, which is what a lot of people associate with the word “raid.” ICE claims it’s not conducting raids in California.

But ICE is still arresting and trying to deport people in California, just as it always does. ICE’s enforcement practices tear families apart and undermine community trust in law enforcement. Families who came to the U.S. fleeing violence in Central America are especially at risk.

ICE’s practices sometimes violate the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, the constitutional guarantee of due process, and the constitutional guarantee of equal protection and freedom from discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and national origin. We are particularly concerned about increased local law enforcement entanglement in ICE’s deportation machinery.

See our blogs about county jail practices in Fresno and Monterey for more information.

Immigration detainers

An ICE detainer—or “immigration hold”—asks local jail or other law enforcement agency to detain an individual for an additional 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) after their release date.

ICE’s use of detainers to imprison people without due process and often without any charges pending or probable cause has raised serious constitutional concerns. ICE is now supposed to limit its use of detainers, but they can still use them.

Read about the TRUST Act.​

Know your rights if ICE confronts you

Independent of your citizenship status, you have constitutional rights!

  • Don’t open your doors. ICE can’t come into your home unless they have a signed search warrant or you let them in. Ask them to pass the warrant under the door before you open it. An arrest warrant for one person is not enough to come inside, unless it also says the officers have a right to enter or search that particular address.
  • Stay silent. 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.”
  • Don’t sign. Be careful what you sign. ICE might ask you to sign forms agreeing to be deported without first seeing a judge.
  • Fight back! If you get detained, don’t give up hope! Get a trustworthy lawyer and explore all options to fight deportation. Find lawyers and organizations that provide free and low-cost  If you or a loved one believe you have been unjustly detained, call the TRUST Act hotline at (844) 878-7801. 

Click here for a more detailed brochure about your rights.

Report raids or checkpoints

  • Call United We Dream’s hotline to report an ICE raid or checkpoint: (844) 363-1423or text WATCHICE to 877877
  • 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.

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.

Click here for a more detailed brochure about your rights.

# # #

ICE raid