How to prepare for ICE raids if you are undocumented

By Atty. Crispin Caday Lozano


The following are some advice from refutable professionals in the community on how to handle ICE raids if you are undocumented.

If You Have Lived In The U.S. For Over Two Years

Jennifer Minear, an immigration employment attorney and president-elect at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, tells Bustle that this new expedited removal policy essentially means that “anybody can be stopped any time, anywhere and asked to show their papers.” Therefore, it’s crucial to be prepared in case this occurs.

Minear stresses that undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States for over two years are not subject to the expedited removal policy. If this applies to you, she says that “carrying with you whatever proof you can that you’ve lived here for more than two years is a good idea.” She notes that items like tax returns, an employer letter stating the length of time you’ve worked for their company, and a lease are all good options for this type of documentation.

If You Have Been In The U.S. Less Than Two Years

Undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for less than two continuous years are eligible for expedited removal under the new policy. Minear suggests that people in this situation should have a plan of action. That could include making contingency plans for children (and their custody) if they’re U.S. citizens, securing an immigration lawyer in case you are detained, and having a phone number memorized that you can call (like a family member or immigration lawyer) if you are taken into custody, so you can notify others what has happened.

It’s particularly important to note that, should ICE officials come to your home, you are not obligated to open the door or let them in — and the new expedited removal policy doesn’t change that. “ICE doesn’t have the legal authority to forcefully enter,” Minear tells Bustle. “It’s still true that if someone knocks on your door and you don’t know who it is, don’t answer it.”

That being said, Minear estimates that expedited removal raids will largely be occurring in public places. “I expect that we might see an expansion of … border checkpoints … further into the interior of the U.S.” she says. This will possibly occur largely ” … in immigrant communities, where they’re stopping people at street corners or pulling people over at busy intersections, that would be my guess.” Minear adds to Bustle that more workplace raids are also possible as the Trump administration seeks to find more immigrants who qualify for expedited removal.

It’s important to be aware of the possibility of these raids and checkpoints when you are in public places — and exercise vigilance by knowing your rights in these scenarios. Even though lawsuits are expected to try to stop the Trump administration from enforcing this new policy, as Newsweek noted, it is currently in effect.


  1. For June 2019, we received approvals of four adjustment of status, six naturalization applications and two certificate of citizenship applications, and one Removal of condition on resident.
  2. On May 6, 2019, we received approvals of three adjustment of status applications and two Naturalization applications.
  3. On April 24, 2019, we received approval from USCIS for three naturalization applications and one adjustment of status.
  4. On March 29, 2019, we received an approval of adjustment of status for a client whose petitioner and primary beneficiary has died under INA 204(l)
  5. On March 28, 2019, we received an approval of renewal of green card for a client who was in the Philippines under medical treatment for one and a half years.
  6. From March 4 to 26, 2019, we received six adjustment of status approvals.
  7. For the month of February, 2019, we received tow approvals of renewal of green card and one approval of removal of condition on residence.
  8. On January 16, 2019, we received an approval of naturalization for a client who received a waiver of misrepresentation in Immigration Court.
  9. On January 28, 2019 we received an approval of adjustment of status for a client who entered on a visa waiver.

If you have immigration problems the Law Offices of Crispin C. Lozano can help you find a solution before your problem gets worse which could lead to deportation and family separation.

Crispin Caday Lozano, Esq. is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and San Francisco Trial Lawyers.  He practices immigration law, bankruptcy and personal injury law since June 1999.  His contact phone is 1-877-456-9266, email:

Toll Free 1-877-4LOZANO for free consultation or Schedule an Appointment