Illegal immigration has long been a problem for American authorities. Entering the U.S. without going through the proper channels is a crime, even if the individual comes into the country for lawful purposes like economic opportunities and safer living conditions. The problem posed by illegal immigrants is huge, and it’s not something that the government can handle on their own. That’s why it’s important for citizens to understand how to report an illegal immigrant.
Needlessly reporting a legal immigrant to the authorities is a waste of resources. The government will waste time investigating someone who is here legally, and the investigation can turn upside down the life of an innocent person.
Look for legal ways to prove that the individual entered the U.S. illegally. If you see an employer paying a worker with cash under the table, your suspicions may be well founded. Similarly, if you are an employer looking to hire workers and a candidate cannot provide a Social Security Number or other documentation, they may have entered the country illegally. You might also try to run an E-verify check at the Department of Homeland Security’s website or look up public court records, particularly those from the immigration court.
Filing a Report
If you believe that a person is an illegal immigrant and may also be responsible for a crime, it’s best to contact a law enforcement agency. They’ll likely want to address the crime first, but can also deal with the individual’s immigration status.
When you don’t believe another crime has been committed, report your suspicions to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. They are the federal agency that is responsible for dealing with people who have entered America illegally. Reports can be made via their anonymous tip line at 1-866-DHS-2ICE, at their website or at one of the local field offices.
U.S. Customs and Border protection is the federal agency responsible for securing America’s borders. They also have a tip line at 1-800-BE-ALERT. Alternatively, informants can visit a Sector Office to report the violation in person.
Regardless of which agency you choose to report your suspicions to, you should be prepared with as many facts and details as you can gather. The suspected illegal immigrant’s name, address and description will likely be asked for. If you have any documentary evidence, you may need to mail it in or send an electronic copy to the agency.