In the wake of recent immigration raids, the governments of El Salvador and Guatemala are advising their citizens living in the U.S. on how to avoid deportation.
In government bulletins and postings on social media, the Central American nations are encouraging those who have fled their countries to come to the U.S. to know their rights and not open the door to officials unless they provide a warrant.
“Don’t be fooled. Don’t open the door to unknown people who say they are looking for someone else. Immigration agents have to show an order signed by a judge to enter your house. If they don’t have one, you’re not obliged to open your door,” reads a bulletin from the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry according to a Fusion translation.
“You have rights that must be respected. If this is an administrative procedure by the U.S. government, immigration agents have the obligation to respect your fundamental rights and treat you and your family with respect, especially when children are involved,” it adds.
In recent days the Obama administration has carried out raids on illegal immigrant families who entered the U.S. after May 2014 and who have been ordered removed by an immigration judge. Last weekend 121 individuals were apprehended in raids that took place largely in Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina.
While the raids have illegal immigrants on their toes, to date the number of migrants apprehended in the enforcement actions is a drop in the bucket compared to the number of illegal migrant families and unaccompanied minors who flooded across the U.S.-Mexico border in recent years.
Nearly 240,000 unaccompanied minors and family unit members were apprehended illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border from FY 2014 though November 2015, and recent high monthly apprehension totals suggest that the influx could be on the rise.
The government of El Salvador, as Fusion highlights, has also been tweeting tips to its nationals living in the U.S. illegally along with the phone numbers of its consulates in case their citizens are rounded up.
According to Fusion, the four tips the government of El Salvador is offering are:
-Immigration agents cannot enter your home without a judge’s order. You do not have to open your door to anyone who doesn’t have a warrant.
-If you get detained, remain calm. If you have immigration papers, show them. If not, call your lawyer and the consulate.
-Immigration agents must respect your rights, and treat you and your family with dignity.
-The Salvadoran consular offices are standing by to help. Call the consulate in Atlanta for information. 678-557-0482.
DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson confirmed the immigration enforcement actions on Monday, saying that “additional enforcement operations such as these will continue to occur as appropriate.”
“As I have said repeatedly, our borders are not open to illegal migration; if you come here illegally, we will send you back consistent with our laws and values,” Johnson said in a statement.