Unlawful Immigration Raids Should Trouble All Americans


Publish Date:
May 6, 2008
Publication Title:
San Francisco Daily Journal, May 6, 2008, pg. 6.
Op-Ed or Opinion Piece
  • Julia Weiland and Alison Sylvester, Unlawful Immigration Raids Should Trouble All Americans, San Francisco Daily Journal, May 6, 2008, pg. 6.


Immigrants' Rights Clinic students Julia Weiland '09 and Alison Sylvester '09 wrote a Daily Journal op-ed about unlawful immigration raids:
All Americans, regardless of their views on immigration, should be troubled by the tactics of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in conducting immigrant raids. These tactics include large numbers of armed federal agents, often without proper warrants or adequate cause, knocking on people's doors in the middle of the night and demanding entry into their homes. Once inside the home (or in other contexts, the workplace), agents require proof of immigration status from anyone they encounter. Those who cannot provide documentation risk deportation. Such raids, often conducted under the auspices of catching “fugitive aliens,” have been widely characterized as indiscriminate and unlawful. Immigrant raids, carried out in an atmosphere of fear, intimidation and coercion, have disrupted the lives of undocumented people, legal residents and U.S. citizens alike.
Being caught up in a raid can take an enormous toll on an individual's life. As law students working in a legal clinic that serves an immigrant population, our legal objections to ICE's tactics have become more personal. We have a client who is bright, motivated and deeply involved in her community. She volunteers weekly at her children's school, takes her family to church on Sundays and receives glowing reviews from her English teacher for her hard work and determination. She is also undocumented. If her apartment building was raided, she could be subject to deportation. Our client is applying for a visa, and we are optimistic she will receive it. But meanwhile, she lives in fear of being separated from her U.S. citizen children and forced to return to her native country, where her life could be in danger…