Boston Public Library Branch Offers Illegal Immigrants Advice For Dealing With ICE

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If you visit a Boston Public Library branch in Dorchester, you may notice a tip sheet that offers advice to illegal immigrants.

That’s because the Codman Square branch has taped up an informational sheet titled “ICE HOME ARRESTS PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS” to a wall adjacent to the men’s bathroom. 

The sheet tells illegal immigrants how they can avoid cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a federal law enforcement agency under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that is responsible for enforcing the country’s borders regarding illegal immigration and customs violations — including counterfeit goods being imported into the United States.

At the top of the sheet, which the Immigrant Defense Project and the Center for Constitutional Rights developed, it tells people they do not have to let Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents into their homes and later tells them how they can attempt to not comply with ICE.

“You do not have to let ICE in unless they have a warrant signed by a judge giving them authorization to enter to arrest someone at your address,” the sheet says. “Ask them to slip the warrant under the door before you open it. ICE will most likely try to enter your home without a warrant and needs consent from an adult to enter. Opening the door does not mean that you consent.”

The sheet also encourages people to ask ICE agents to leave if they do not want to comply with the agency.

It states:

ICE is not supposed to search your home or belongings without your consent if they do not have a judicial warrant. If they are inside and start to search, say ‘I do not consent to this search. Please leave the house.’ Keep saying this, especially if they search for, take or try to photograph documents. They may not listen but it is important for you to exercise this right and tell a lawyer later. It may help you or a loved one in the future.”

“Do not give ICE passport or consular documents unless they have a search warrant signed by a judge listing those items. ICE agents often ask people to gather up their travel documents during an arrest. They are only doing this to help the government try to deport you. Say ‘I don’t want to bring my documents’ or ‘I don’t want to give anything over.’ DO NOT give them false or invalid documentation (e.g. fake Social Security card or expired immigration visa).”

More than 11 million illegal immigrants live in the United States, including over 200,000 in Massachusetts, according to the Migration Policy Institute. The Federation for American Immigration Reform has calculated that illegal immigrants cost the Bay State $1.8 billion per year.

A spokesman for Boston Public Library could not be reached for comment on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.

A picture of the informational sheet is available below:


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