Immigration and Customs Enforcement is commonly known as ICE. For immigrants and those who are in the country without documentation, knowing about ICE and what it does is absolutely vital.
This post provides an overview of some need-to-know information about ICE, but it is a good idea to talk to an experienced Salt Lake City immigration attorney to learn more about the proactive steps you can take to avoid conflict with ICE.
What is ICE?
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) enforces federal laws regarding border control, trade, customs, and immigration. Their focus is on public safety. Their budget each year is around $6 billion. Much of that funding will go toward:
- Homeland Securities Investigations (HIS)
- Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO)
- Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA)
This large governmental agency has over 20,000 employees and over 400 offices throughout the United States. They also have offices in 46 foreign countries as well.
Although ICE agents have a wide variety of experience and credentials, they are often former law-enforcement personnel. They have specialized training that is unique to detaining and deporting individuals and families.
What Does ICE Do?
ICE does not administer admission processes. Instead, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will assist with that process. ICE’s focus is more on determining who is in the country illegally and detaining those individuals. It will also go through the process of removing illegal aliens from the U.S. as well.
They will also investigate the illegal movement of people and goods. That often includes smuggling weapons, drugs, and other unsafe products. ICE also works to prevent child exploitation and human smuggling as well.
What Should I Do if ICE Shows Up at My Home?
Today is an uncertain time in the immigration arena. Deportation of immigrants has increased in the past year, and the threat of removal is real for many people. If ICE shows up at your door demanding to be let in or to speak with you, you should use the following suggestions to deal with the situation.
- Remain Calm.
- Ask for an interpreter if you need one.
- Ask to see a warrant.
- Contact a Salt Lake City immigration attorney immediately.
Keeping your cool will go a long way in dealing with ICE. Try to keep others around you calm as well. You do not want to give ICE a reason to detain you—and they will have one if you start saying threatening things or act unreasonably. Resisting will only provide them with an excuse to use force.
You have a right to understand what is happening in your own language. If you need an interpreter to better understand what is going on, ask for one.
Like law enforcement, ICE agents cannot come into your home without a warrant. Ask them to slip the document under the door or hold it up to your door or window before you open the door. You can refuse to let them in if they do not have a warrant. They can leave information outside of your door.