Louisiana Immigration Law Firm

Ashley Dees LLC is now Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. Please visit www.bal.com for more information.

Preparing for a Visit from ICE

With Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) presence on the rise, more and more workplaces are seeing ICE raids. Workplace enforcement is expected to grow, so it is important to prepare your staff for a visit from ICE. Knowing what to do when ICE officers come can prevent escalation and protect your business and employees.

In some cases, the officers will issue a “desk audit” subpoena, which is a request to review your company’s I-9 forms for each employee. You will have 3 days to respond to the request. If you receive this subpoena, you should immediately contact your attorney. In other instances, ICE officials may be looking for a specific person. Your staff should not obstruct their search. The individual in question has the right to refuse to speak to ICE officers and to call an attorney. If this occurs, contact your own lawyer as well to review your compliance processes.

Preparing for a Workplace Raid

In your employee handbook, you should outline your policies to handle events like ICE raids. Here is some steps you could outline to ensure your business and employees are well-equipped to protect themselves:

  1. The staff member, such as a receptionist or other front desk staff, should request the warrant.
  2. The receptionist should bring a copy of the warrant to another staff member to read and contact the company attorney. You may wish to email a copy of the warrant to your lawyer.
  3. The receptionist should inform the officers of the company policy, which is to contact the company’s attorney.
  4. Offer the officers a chance to speak with the company’s lawyer. This generally will occur via a phone call.
  5. While you are contacting your attorney, it is possible that ICE officer may begin their search, and will collect documents and computers. To prevent this from hindering your business, always maintain off-site backups of all files and documents.
  6. Task an employee to follow each officer and record video of the search for your records. If the officers are acting beyond the scope of the warrant, the employee may question the excessive behavior and record it on video,
  7. The officer may request to speak to the employees or have them gather to be addressed. Inform your employees beforehand of their rights. They are not legally required to speak with ICE officials on an individual level without a lawyer present. Your employees should not try to impede with the search, but you should not prevent them from choosing to speak to officials. Tell them ICE cannot hold them on site unless they are under arrest. Employees should not speak with ICE officers on behalf of the company, unless they are designated company spokespersons.

Which Employees Need to Be Aware of Policies?

Every employee should be familiar with their rights and company policies regarding ICE raids. Other employees may play more key roles during these raids, and may need additional training in company policy to ensure they are prepared. These employees include:

  • Employees who would be the first to greet ICE employees. These positions include receptionists, front-desk staff, greeters, hosts, or sales floor staff.
  • Leaders in the company, who are responsible for communicating what is happening to other employees and reminding them of the procedures. These positions may include managers, shift leaders, and other supervisors.
  • The spokespeople who are authorized to speak on behalf of the company. These people should be well-versed in company policy and the process of immigration raids. They also should be in contact with your attorney.

Speak to a Lake Charles Immigration Lawyer - (337) 214-0670

Preparing your company for a visit from ICE can be a confusing process. Our Lake Charles immigration attorneys can help employers draft and implement policies to help their staff through these stressful visits. At Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP, we understand the importance of protecting your business and employees. Let us help you tackle this issue successfully.

Find out more about ICE raids with a consultation. Contact our legal team by calling (337) 214-0670 today.