Immigration Raids: What to Know

Photo Credit: Office of Supervisor Dave Cortese Infographic Credit: Mexican Consulate of San Jose.

Supervisor Dave Cortese

Rumors about immigration raids in our county have surfaced over the past few weeks. The rumors have spread across social media, but none were ever confirmed.

Understandably, many are trying to inform their immigrant friends and colleagues in an effort to keep them safe. Unfortunately, without being verified, these rumors cause more anxiety and fear among residents.

If you hear of a potential raid in the community, verify it before you share it with others. If you are an immigrant, you are encouraged to contact the County’s Office of Immigrant Relations or my office to report the potential incident. Do not engage or go near the raid activity.  In the meantime, immigrant residents should be informed about their rights at home, in the workplace, and in the community.

The Mexican Consulate of San Jose has released the following information informing immigrant residents in the event of immigration authorities visiting your home:

  • Do not open the door
  • Remain calm
  • Do not run away
  • Do not disclose your immigration status
  • Ask why they are at your home and request an interpreter if you need one
  • Ask who they are and who they are looking for
  • Ask them to show you a court order through the window or slide a copy under the door
  • Make sure the court order has your name, address, and is signed by a judge
  • If they do not show you a court order, you have the right to deny them entry into your home

If immigration authorities enter your home without a court order or your permission:

  • Ask for the names and badge numbers of the immigration officers and tell them you do not consent to the search

If you are detained by immigration authorities outside of your home:

  • Remain quiet
  • Do not reveal your immigration status
  • Ask to speak with the nearest consulate of your home country
  • Ask to speak with your attorney
  • Do no sign any paperwork
  • Figure out who has detained you
  • Request an interpreter if you need one
  • Do not provide false information
  • Do not provide false documents

The County has affirmed its commitment to serving and protecting all residents, including those without citizenship status.  In December 2016, Supervisor Cindy Chavez and I held a hearing on immigration in which our County Sheriff, Laurie Smith, reaffirmed her commitment to uphold the county’s current civil detainer policy which limits coordination with ICE.  At the same hearing, San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia proclaimed that his department and officers will not cooperate or act as immigration agents. In the wake of President Trump’s executive order on January 25, 2017, I have also reaffirmed my commitment to ensuring that our law enforcement officers are not employed as immigration agents.

Most recently, the County Counsel filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging Trump’s executive order on immigration enforcement, which seeks to withhold federal funds from cities and counties like ours that do not assist in the deportation of immigrant residents. President Trump’s executive order threatens to withhold up to $1.3 billion in federal funds from Santa Clara County. Though the outcome of the lawsuit is yet to be determined, I am confident that we will prevail.

For now, the best course of action is to be informed and to have a plan. For more information or resources on how to protect you and your family, please visit the Office of Immigrant Relations website at or contact my office at 408-299-5030.


Dave Cortese

President, Board of Supervisors

County of Santa Clara