What To Do When ICE Arrives at Your Business

In the wake of recent Executive Orders regarding immigration and news of increased action by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), many employers are wondering what they should do if ICE shows up at their business.

In the event of an ICE raid, the agents should arrive with a warrant. If they do present a warrant, check that it is signed by the court and that it is being served within the allowed period of time. You should also note the scope of the warrant, which details the areas and items to be searched. The agents should only be allowed in the area that is listed, and they should only be looking at the items that are listed.

It is important to remember that ICE can enter without a warrant if they are given permission to enter. You may want to designate someone who is authorized to give permission and instruct employees, such as front desk staff, that only that person can give permission. In this case, the ICE agents should be asked to wait in a specific area while the authorized person is located, or they might begin to wander around. Once ICE has arrived, contact an attorney to let him or her know that the raid is happening.

You should ask for the name of the supervising agent and the U.S. attorney assigned to the case. You are also permitted to have representatives accompany agents around the facility to note the actions of the agents and any items seized. Ask if copies can be made of any items seized, although ICE does not have to agree to this. Employees are not required to speak with agents or answer any questions; however, they should remain calm and not engage in hostilities toward the agents.

Once the raid has ended, the agents will provide a “Do Not Rehire” list, which is a list of any employees who have been arrested and lack work authorization. Investigation of the company can continue for months, and ICE will be checking to see if any of those employees are rehired or if the company hires people who admit they do not have work authorization.

Please do not hesitate to contact MSEC with any questions.