NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Wednesday’s raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers at multiple Mississippi food processing plants has left immigrants across New York and the nation on edge. However, immigration advocates and lawyers say they want immigrants to know that even if you are in the U.S. illegally, you still have rights.
“Immigrants can simply just stay quiet, affirm their right to an attorney, say ‘I just need to speak to an attorney,’ they are not required to disclose their nationality, they are not required to disclose their citizenship,” said Cesar Vargas, an immigration attorney and activist.
According to Vargas, business owners can protect their employees. ICE agents are allowed to come into the public areas of their business like any customer but need a warrant signed by a judge to search the property.
“Protocol requires that they contact their attorney before immigration agents can do anything,” Vargas said. “Of course, if the attorney’s not available, the representative, the owner can say ‘Okay, I need to see a warrant, I need to see if it’s signed by a judge, and of course I need to make sure you’re only searching for taking anyone that’s only in the warrant.”