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Many Maryland immigrant rights organizations are seeking and encouraging state legislators to support a bill that would ban private ICE facilities in Maryland in the upcoming 2020 General Assembly session. We have learned that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is seeking to create a new ICE detention facility in Maryland within 50 miles of the ICE Baltimore Field Office.
Please Click Here to Contact Your Representative
Immigrant rights groups such as CASA have been conducting Know Your Rights campaigns in immigrant communities across our region. Here are some Know Your Rights resources.
The National Immigration Law Center offers a Know Your Rights Card that you can copy and distribute to your immigrant neighbors
Witnessing An ICE Raid
If you witness an ICE raid, you may record it. You have a right to do so. But you must behave in a certain way. The ACLU recommends that you follow these procedures:
- Stand at a safe distance and, if possible, use your phone to record video of what is happening. Remove your phone slowly from your pocket or handbag. As long as you do not interfere with what the officers are doing and do not stand close enough to obstruct their movements, you have the right to observe and record events that are plainly visible in public spaces.
- Do not try to hide the fact that you are recording. Police officers do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy when performing their jobs, but the people they are interacting with may have privacy rights that would require you to notify them of the recording. In many states (see here) you must affirmatively make people aware that you are recording them.
- Police officers may not confiscate or demand to view your photographs or video without a warrant, and they may not delete your photographs or video under any circumstances. If an officer orders you to stop recording or orders you to hand over your phone, you should politely but firmly tell the officer that you do not consent to doing so, and remind the officer that taking photographs or video is your right under the First Amendment. Be aware that some officers may arrest you for refusing to comply even though their orders are illegal. The arrest would be unlawful, but you will need to weigh the personal risks of arrest (including the risk that officer may search you upon arrest) against the value of continuing to record.
- Whether or not you are able to record everything, make sure to write down everything you remember, including officers’ badge and patrol car numbers, which agency the officers were from, how many officers were present and what their names were, any use of weapons (including less-lethal weapons such as Tasers or batons), and any injuries suffered by the person stopped. If you are able to speak to the person stopped by police after the police leave, they may find your contact information helpful in case they decide to file a complaint or pursue a lawsuit against the officers.
Here are some additional resources:
- Bystander Intervention from the American Friends Service Committee
- Filming ICE from the New York ACLU
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