Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-New York) has introduced a bill in Congress that would prohibit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol agents from identifying themselves as “police” in searching for immigrants who are living in the country with no legal status. As the Trump administration has increased enforcement efforts in recent months, local government officials have complained that ICE agents doing so are acting deceitfully and heightening tensions in their communities. At least a dozen other Democrats have endorsed the bill, including Rep. Juan Vargas (D-California), as well as numerous advocacy groups. Previously, government officials in Los Angeles sent a letter to the directors of ICE, urging that ICE agents stop the common practice of identifying themselves as “police” in carrying out their duties. These officials claim that the city’s immigrant populations already are living in fear in the current atmosphere of dramatically increased immigration enforcement actions. When ICE agents inappropriately identify as “police,” immigrant community members tend to report less and less crimes as they occur. The L.A. police chief also has distanced the city’s police force work from ICE in order to keep channels of communication open between the immigrant community and law enforcement. According to ICE, however, it is perfectly legal for agents to identify themselves as “police,” and they claim that an inability to do so could be dangerous. While ICE agents technically are a law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), they do not have the power to enter someone’s home without a search warrant. ICE agents must get permission to enter the home from an adult for a warrantless entry. At Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., we are closely watching the progression of bills at both the federal and state levels that address protections for immigrants. As the atmosphere surrounding immigrants and immigrant rights continues to change rapidly, we are devoted to safeguarding the rights of detained immigrants and working toward their release from detention. We know how to assess the merits of your case, examine your options, and offer you a strong defense against removal. Contact your California deportation defense attorneys today and set up an appointment to speak with our legal team.