Pelosi’s Advice Regarding ICE Warrants Was Inappropriate, Unbecoming of Her Position

July 14, 2019 Updated: July 15, 2019


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently gave some free “advice” to immigrants who are in the country illegally. Specifically, she advised them that in order to avoid arrest and deportation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, they shouldn’t open the door if ICE agents only produce an ICE deportation warrant, as opposed to a search warrant.

While Pelosi is technically correct, some would argue that a member of Congress shouldn’t be advising people who are in the country illegally about how to circumvent a proper and legal ICE warrant.

“An ICE deportation warrant is not the same as a search warrant,” according to Pelosi. “If that is the only document ICE brings to a home raid, ICE does not have a legal right to enter a home. If ICE agents don’t have a warrant signed by a judge, a person may refuse to open the door and let them in.”

Generally speaking, an ICE deportation warrant allows ICE agents to arrest someone who’s in the country illegally for purposes of deportation. These warrants aren’t signed by a federal judge and don’t permit an agent to arrest someone where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Therefore, if an illegal immigrant enters his or her own home, an ICE agent has the right to arrest them, but can’t enter the house to execute an arrest without first obtaining a warrant signed by a judge (or consent). The agent can, however, “wait it out” and arrest the individual once he or she leaves the house and no longer has an expectation of privacy.

Both the legalities of the ICE warrant and the circumstances under which an arrest is permitted are important to understand. However, many could argue that the explanation shouldn’t come from the speaker of the House and shouldn’t be presented in a public speech about “how to defeat an ICE warrant.”

It’s no secret that Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues strongly oppose President Donald Trump’s plan to deport those people who are in the country illegally and ICE’s raids on various major cities across the country. However, Pelosi’s decision to publicly advise those who are facing deportation by ICE on how to circumvent these warrants was inappropriate. Since when do members of Congress publicly advise people on how to “circumvent” our laws? Can you imagine how Democrats would’ve reacted had a congressional Republican engaged in such conduct?

Pelosi’s advice wasn’t given for the “betterment of the nation.” She wasn’t fighting back against a law or procedure that is “illegal.” Rather, her advice was given for the sole purpose of protecting those in the country who are here illegally. Think about that for a moment.

If Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues had wanted to avoid the raids on approximately 2,000 immigrants who have ignored deportation orders, they could’ve done so, as the president delayed the initial raid and gave members of Congress the opportunity to present an immigration bill that also tightened asylum laws. Unfortunately, they failed to do that.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) stated: “Tell me one thing that this majority has done in the amount of time that the speaker called the president and asked him to delay it? Has there been a hearing? Has there been a bill produced? Have we asked to stay over a weekend and solve this problem? I think if the president actually saw the House actually taking action, he probably would delay even further to make sure the problem gets solved.”

Pelosi’s recent advice put the interests of those who are in the country illegally over those of the nation as a whole. Pelosi’s advice wasn’t given in response to ICE agents’ illegal or improper conduct. To the contrary, ICE agents have the right to arrest and deport pursuant to a properly signed ICE warrant.

Rather, Pelosi’s advice was nothing more than a partisan attempt to interfere with these efforts.

Elad Hakim is a political writer, commentator, and attorney. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, The Algemeiner, The Western Journal, American Thinker, and other online publications.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Elad Hakim
Elad Hakim
Mr. Hakim is a political commentator and writer who is fluent in both English and Hebrew. His articles have been published in The Federalist, The Western Journal, American Thinker, World Net Daily, Sun-Sentinel, The Epoch Times and other online publications.