On September 26th, 2019 the Los Angeles Times reported on the latest mass deportation raids in Southern California. Officials told the paper that at least 150 immigrants in communities across the Los Angeles area were arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Unfortunately, even though state and local officials in California have taken important steps to offer additional legal protections to vulnerable immigrants, federal immigration enforcement — under instructions from President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions ― continue to pursue highly aggressive tactics.
We want to make sure that all immigrants in Southern California know what they need to protect the rights of themselves and their family members. Here, our Los Angeles deportation lawyer highlights the three most important steps you need to take if your loved one was detained in an ICE raid.
Was Your Family Member Detained By ICE? The First Three Things You Need to Do
- Find Out Where They are Being Held
If you know or suspect that your loved one was detained by immigration enforcement authorities, the first thing you need to do is to find out exactly where they are being held. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) maintains an Online Detainee Locator System. Any immigrant in ICE custody should have their information put into this system. Of course, the records are not always updated as quickly as they should be. If you are having any trouble locating your loved one, call a Los Angeles immigration attorney immediately.
- Make Sure They Do Not Sign Any Documents
If you can get into contact with your loved one, tell them not to sign any documents or to make any agreements. This is extremely important. Immigration enforcement officials will often try to pressure detainees into signing papers that are not in their best interests. The most common tactic used by ICE involves pressuring detainees into voluntarily agreeing to deportation. Detainees have no obligation to sign any documents. Never sign anything without first letting a lawyer review the document to ensure that your rights and interests are protected.
- Get Help From a Los Angeles Deportation Attorney Today
If your loved one has been detained and is facing deportation/removal, it is crucial that you seek help from a qualified legal professional. In fact, it is recommended that you speak to an immigration lawyer within the first 24 hours. Not only do these cases have the potential to move quickly, but they are complicated. A lawyer will be able to assess the situation, help you explore all available legal options, and take action to protect your family.
At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, we fight tirelessly to protect the rights and interests of immigrants in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. If you or your family member was detained by ICE or has received a Notice to Appear, you need to take immediate action. For a fully confidential immigration consultation, please contact our Los Angeles law office today at (213) 262-2000.