This week, our office has received hundreds of phone calls from panicked clients, concerned about the recent raids by ICE. People want to know whether they can actually be detained by ICE, what might put them at risk for this, and what they can do if they are indeed detained. It’s first important to understand that ICE is targeting a very specific group of people when conducting these raids. Those people who are being targeted are Central Americans who crossed the border within the last year and a half or so (May 2014 and after). And within that group of people, ICE is targeting those who have already been ordered removed from the country but who have failed to leave. So, if you do not fall within this specific category of people, you are not considered a target for the raids. This does not mean that ICE can’t or won’t detain people who are not considered targets. The fact remains that any person who is illegally present in the U.S. is at risk for detention and removal. However, if you qualify for an immigration benefit and already have a pending case, it is quite possible that you could avoid an actual removal. You would have to hire an experienced immigration attorney to handle the removal case, of course (or you could attempt to represent yourself), but it is quite possible that you would have some sort of relief from removal. If you are worried that a family member could be detained by ICE and placed in custody, try to have a plan in place. If that person is the main caretaker for your children, make sure you have a back-up plan for getting the children to and from school, for example, and tending to their daily needs. Familiarize yourself with local immigration attorneys, so that you know who to call should you need legal assistance. Have some money saved up so you can afford to pay a bond and get your family out of custody. Schedule an appointment with an immigration lawyer today so that you can learn about your options and know what you’re up against if an ICE raid affects you!