MIAMI – The prevailing question in Miami and the other cities where it was announced by the Trump administration that immigration raids were to commence on Sunday, July 14, is did the raids actually happen?
Small scale operations
According to Weston based immigration attorney Caroly Pedersen, the raid did occur over the announced weekend, but they were only small scale operations and were mostly unsuccessful. She cited, “Agents fanned out into immigrant neighborhoods in many major cities, only to find that either no one would answer the door, or, that the occupant inside told them they were refusing to open the door because they knew their rights!”
Aggressive promotion backfired
Pedersen believed the planned July 14 raid was not successful was because they were aggressively promoted raids. “ICE had long been planning secret raids to catch unsuspecting immigrants off-guard, apprehend thousands and then publicize the success of their operations across the news.
But the by the White House announcing and publicizing the raids ICE officials lost the element of surprise and even worse news for them, immigrant communities were becoming more educated about their rights and armed with knowledge, better able to avoid apprehension. Immigrants have now come to understand that they are not required to open their doors to ICE agents or roll down their car window and can simply ignore them, unless they present a warrant signed by a judge, which most agents do not have.”
The New York Times reports that a teenager in New York who had seen “know your rights” posts on the internet took the advice to heart when ICE agents knocked on the door at 1 a.m. on Sunday. She recounted: “They said, ‘We need to talk to you, can you come outside, can you open the door?’ I said, ‘Do you have permission to come inside my house, do you have a paper?’” she recounted. “They said, ‘We’re not trying to come inside your house, we just want to speak with you.’ And I said, ‘No I’m not coming outside.” The agents left, then returned again at 5 a.m., “surrounding the house with flashlights and banging on the door and window” The girl went upstairs to be with her parents and hid with the lights off, “too scared to look outside,”. And miraculously, ICE eventually left, presumably defeated.
However, Pedersen cautions that just because these raids were unsuccessful, does not mean ICE isn’t already reorganizing and planning secret, quiet raids hoping to catch immigrants when they are off guard.
ICE constrained by law
The law requires ICE agents to wait for their targets to come outside voluntarily in order to arrest them. Pedersen said ICE could be most likely planning creative tactics to try and lure their unsuspecting targets outside, for instance by carrying decoy photos to hold up to the windows of immigrants who are being targeted, pretending ICE agents are looking for someone else in order to persuade them to open the door. Or ICE agents claim to be police officers responding to a domestic disturbance or gas leak.
The New York Times also reports that the agency has even used social media like dating sites to try and lure targets into “dates” where they can be apprehended.
ICE to utilize creative means
“They are coming up with more and more creative means every day. So don’t think its over, not by a long shot. Keep vigilant and safe… don’t open your door to strangers!” Pedersen cautioned.