Know your immigration rights

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has launched a series of targeted enforcement operations across the country and it is important to know your immigration rights.

“Do not lie to ICE but remember that you do have the right to stay silent!”

If Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents show up at the door, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) advises not opening it unless the agents can show a warrant signed by a judge.

“Ask to see the warrant through a window or slipped under the door.”

ICE administrative warrants don’t allow agents to enter a home without the consent of the residents. Residents can ask through the door why the agents are there and request an interpreter if they need one.

If there is no warrant, ask the agents to leave information outside.

If the agents force their way into the home, “don’t resist. Tell everyone in the residence to remain silent,” the ACLU says.

“If you are arrested remain silent and do not sign anything until you speak to a lawyer.”

All important documents, including passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates and medical records should be organized and stored in a secure location.

“It is important that neither you nor your family members give ICE your passport.”

  1. If officers are at your door, keep the door closed and ask if they are Immigration agents, or from ICE.
  2. Ask the agents what they are there for.
  3. Opening the door does not give the agents permission to come inside, but it is safer to speak to ICE through the door.
  4. If the agents don’t speak your language, ask for an interpreter.
  5. If the agents want to enter, ask them if they have a warrant signed by a judge. If ICE agents do not have a warrant signed by  a Judge, you may refuse to open the door or let them in. An administrative warrant of removal from immigration authorities is not enough.
  6. If they say they have a warrant, ask them to slip the warrant under the door.
  7. Look at the top and at the signature line to see if it was issued by a court and signed by a judge. Only a court/judge warrant is enough for entry into your premises. One issued by DHS or ICE and signed by a DHS or ICE employee is not.
    1. An example of an order by a judge
    2. An example of an order by ICE 
  8. Do not open your door unless ICE shows you a judicial search or arrest warrant naming a person in your residence and/or areas to be searched at your address.
  9. In all other cases, keep the door closed. State: “I do not consent to your entry.”
  10. If agents force their way in anyway, do not attempt to resist. If you wish to exercise your rights, state: “I do not consent to your entry or to your search of these premises. I am exercising my right to remain silent. I wish to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.” 
  11. Everyone in the residence may also exercise the right to remain silent.
  12. Do not lie or show false documents. Do not sign any papers without speaking to a lawyer.

Source: ACLU