Letter from ICE addressed to my apartment (not to me)
November 22, 2018 8:28 AM   Subscribe

I received a letter from ICE “Enforcement & Removal Operation” addressed to someone I don’t know at my new apartment. (I just moved.) I have not opened it because it’s not addressed to me.

I’ve contacted previous tenants that I have numbers for, but haven’t heard back yet (and also it’s Thanksgiving). I tried googling the name, but nothing turned up. The spelling is not clear — the addressee and addesss are weirdly hand-written, in definitely older than 65-yr-old handwriting — and anyway, I’m not sure they’d be easily googleable.

What...what do I do?

I didn’t check the mailbox for over a week — it was postmarked November 18th. I’d like this person to get what they need. The letter wasn’t misdelivered; ICE just appears to have an incorrect address for this person. (Or whatever.)
posted by schadenfrau to Human Relations (13 answers total)
do what you'd do with any incorrect mail. write NOT AT THIS ADDRESS on it and put it in your outgoing mail.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:34 AM on November 22, 2018 [14 favorites]

Response by poster: Wait one of the previous tenants just got back to me, literally minutes after I posted this. So. That is...solved.

Thank you though :)
posted by schadenfrau at 8:35 AM on November 22, 2018 [4 favorites]

I was just about to comment saying the letter smells like it could be a scam. If you ever hear back from the recipient re whether this was or wasn't a scam, could you please update this thread so people are aware?
posted by splitpeasoup at 8:40 AM on November 22, 2018 [5 favorites]

Ya, I'd vote scam too.
posted by chasles at 8:53 AM on November 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Don’t give address info to ICE or scammers posing as ICE imo
posted by kapers at 9:12 AM on November 22, 2018 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: Oh yeah I’m not responding to the letter or contacting ICE in any way whatsoever. But I’ll definitely tell the guy it might be a scam.

For internet sleuth purposes the return address appears to be the genuine address of the ICE Enforcement and Removal field office for upstate New York. I am in NYC, which has a different field office. But if this guy is a student who went to school upstate...idk.

I’m very hopeful it’s a scam.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:19 AM on November 22, 2018

Regardless of where he went to school, you're outside that jurisdiction and ICE has a printer. My vote is scam.
posted by bile and syntax at 9:34 AM on November 22, 2018 [7 favorites]

It might worth taking a moment to read the ACLU's Know Your Rights: What To Do If Immigration Agents (ICE) Are At Your Door in case the letter is legit and ICE does eventually turn up looking for a previous tenant. There's a distinction between warrants signed by judges and administrative warrants that's worth knowing.
posted by zachlipton at 11:41 AM on November 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

If the previous tenant was a visible minority, my bet is low-grade fash. They’ve been doing that a bit up here to freak people out and get them to run.
posted by corb at 1:01 PM on November 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

Government agencies do not hand-write addresses on envelopes! This looks like a racist scam. I would even think twice about forwarding it to its intended target/victim.
posted by monotreme at 2:46 PM on November 22, 2018 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: Too late, I already handed it off. But I did warn him about the scam possibility.

I really wouldn't be comfortable making that decision for him.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:54 PM on November 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Government agencies most certainly do hand write addresses on envelopes. As part of my work I receive letters from US Customs and Border Protection on a daily basis and many have hand written addresses.
posted by Carbolic at 12:40 PM on November 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'm curious why there would be any handwriting on a letter from the government, rather than a printed label, or the printed to-address on the enclosed letter showing through an envelope window. That right there sounds very shady.

My husband is a GC holder and every piece of correspondence I have from the government was typed. I did once get someone else's letter (alphabetically next in line) included in my envelope behind my letter, and I mailed that letter on to them (and received a thank you card back a while later). But it was abundantly clear in that case that this was official government mail.

Handwriting on the envelope just says scam to me.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 4:41 PM on November 23, 2018

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