Ice Raids

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Center for Social Justice (CSJ)
[email protected] | 973-642-8700 or 973-761-9000 ext. 8700
833 McCarter Highway, Newark, NJ 07102


Know Your Rights - How to Prepare for an Immigration Raid or Encounter with Immigration Agents and Police in New Jersey

The Center for Social Justice ("CSJ") at Seton Hall University School of Law has prepared a Know Your Rights Guide in English and in Spanish, designed to inform immigrants about their rights and to help prepare them to face a possible encounter with government agents from the Federal Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") and local police officers at home, at work, in their car, or on the street.  We release this guide now due to the significant increase in recent years of the number of ICE "raids" in homes and workplaces and of local law enforcement agents enforcing immigration law.

Immigrants, regardless of status, have many rights and protections under the law.  Knowing one's rights and options can help individuals make the best decisions if they are faced with a raid or asked about their immigration status. This guide includes specific information on legal rights, including the right to not to let government agents into their house unless they have the proper documentation, the right to stay silent, the right to an attorney if an individual is arrested, and the right to a hearing before an Immigration Judge.  The guide also explains the types of arrangements that one might make before a raid occurs, such as preparing an emergency and long-term family care plan and preparing a legal file.

The guide includes a list of free or low-cost immigration services and community service organizations in New Jersey and New York (servicios legales gratuitos y de tarifa y organizaciones de la comunidad de NY/NJ disponibles en espanol) and "Know Your Rights" cards (tarjetas "conozca sus derechos" disponibles  en espanol) that immigrants can keep with them in their wallet. 

To ensure a clear understanding of the material in this guide, the Center for Social Justice is conducting training sessions based on the material in this guide, beginning in December 2009.  If you would like to attend a general session, or if you would like us to schedule a session with your organization, please contact Daphney West, Program Coordinator, at the Center for Social Justice at (973) 642-8700 or at [email protected].

This guide is available for free download in English here:

Know Your Rights - How to Prepare for an Immigration Raid or Encounter with Immigration Agents and Police in New Jersey

Conozca Sus Derechos - Cómo prepararse para una redada de Inmigración o para un encuentro con los agentes de Inmigración y Policía en Nueva Jersey

Litigation Information, Statistics and Victim Resources

Since 2002, the Department of Homeland Security, acting through the Immigration & Customs Enforcement Office of Detention & Removal Operations, has overseen the National Fugitive Operation Program.

In January 2006, so-called “Fugitive Operations Teams” were each ordered by the Office of Detention and Removals Operations to meet a quota to find and arrest 1,000 individuals per year who had outstanding deportation orders. Since the quota was instituted, there has been an escalating pattern of pre-dawn raids of immigrant homes in at least 15 New Jersey towns where the state’s four Fugitive Operations Teams have implemented the quota and DHS’s “Operation Return to Sender.”

In these raids, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents enter immigrant homes in the early hours of the morning, without search warrants, using intimidation and—on occasion—force, to gather and question everyone in the home. The ICE agents then arrest persons who cannot immediately prove legal residence. According to ICE statistics, of the 2,079 “fugitive” arrests that ICE made in New Jersey last year, 87% of those arrested had no criminal record. Individuals subjected to the home raids include children and adults who are U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents.

Read About the Cases

Resource Guide: Find information about legal resources for those who have been affected by the raids.