A couple passes by a Middle Eastern restaurant, discussing how it got good reviews and they should try it sometime. No sooner do they pass by, than violence erupts inside the restaurant. Three masked men have the entire Muslim family that owns the restaurant tied up and is threatening them with guns and knives. One of the assailants pulls up one of the girl's shirts.
Later, SVU is called to a very gruesome scene, where the girl seen in the first scene has died and her father has critical injuries. Rollins and Benson are sure this is more than just a robbery, and sure enough they find an anti-Muslim message scrawled in blood.
In the hospital, Lela Sharma explains how she felt helpless to protect her children because she was tied up. When the men left, she escaped and saw her daughter was dead. A doctor comes in and breaks the news that her husband has passed away.
The investigation continues and forensics show someone left through the back door. The happy couple from the first scene also comes forward to state that they saw a young man who might have been Arab or Hispanic leaving through the back door.
Lela and her sister Mala are interviewed and Mala says their brother Yousef has a key, something Lela tries to deny. The cops search for Yousef, who tries to run away. When he is caught he explains he is undocumented. He left Syria because he is gay and was being persecuted there. He saw the rapes and murders but hid and was then ashamed of having done nothing to help.
Fin doesn't believe Yousef but Benson does. Mala comes all upset and is reassured that Yousef is not under arrest at this time. Yousef says he saw one of the men and he was familiar. They look at a photo and Yousef IDs Hector Ramirez, a former employee who was recently fired.
Hector's wife, Soledad, claims not to know where Hector is but relents when Rollins threatens to have social services take her kids. The SVU team heads to the restaurant Hector works at, where the manager is worried about getting in trouble for hiring illegal immigrants. SVU reassures him they don't care about that. After a struggle, Hector is arrested. A lawyer from the immigration society shows up to defend Hector.
Yousef agrees to look at a lineup if his immigration status doesn't come up. He IDs Hector. Carisi is assigned to protect him until he can testify at the grand jury the following day.
There is a protest on the street about immigration when Yousef goes out to get a cigarette. ICE shows up and arrests Yousef for a violation of immigration law while Carisi is trying to explain the situation.
SVU scrambles to try to get Yousef back but ICE keeps stonewalling them until eventually it is revealed Yousef has already been deported. Mala blames SVU. Meanwhile, there is a call they have to rush off to -- two Middle Eastern men are holding Hector Ramirez hostage.