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What Are Your Rights If You Get Stopped By an ICE officer?

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

All people living in the United States, including undocumented immigrants, have certain Constitutional rights. If you are stopped by immigration (ICE) officers, you have the following rights:

You have the right to remain silent.

You do not need to speak to the officers or answer any questions.

o If you are stopped, you may ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says no, do not try to leave.

o If you are asked any questions, you may refuse to answer or remain silent.

o If you choose to remain silent, say so out loud.

o You may refuse to show identity documents that say what country you are from.

o Do not show any false documents and do not lie.

o If they ask you to stand in a group according to immigration status, you do not have to move, or you can move to an area that is not designated for a particular group

You may refuse a search.

If you are stopped for questioning but are not arrested, you do not have to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings, but an officer may “pat down” your clothes if he or she suspects you have a weapon.

You have the right to speak to a lawyer.

If you are detained or taken into custody, you have the right to immediately contact a lawyer.

o Tell the immigration officers that you want to speak to a lawyer, even if you don’t have a one yet.

o If you do not have a lawyer, ask an immigration officer to call your family to hire a lawyer.

o If you already have a lawyer, you have the right to talk to them.

o You also have the right to contact your consulate. They can explain your right to a lawyer

You can refuse to sign any/all paperwork.

until you have had the opportunity to speak to a lawyer.

o If you choose to sign something without speaking to a lawyer, be sure you understand exactly what the document says and means before you sign it.

Do not open the door.

If ICE agents knock on your door, you do not have to open the door or let them into your home unless they have a valid search warrant signed by a judge.

o An ICE warrant is not the same as a search warrant. If this is the only document they have, they cannot legally come inside unless you verbally agree to let them in.

o If the officers say they have a search warrant signed by a judge, ask them to slide it under the door or hold it up to a window so you can see it.

o If the warrant does not have your correct name and address on it and is not signed by a judge you do not have to open the door or let them inside.

o If at any point you decide to speak with the officers, you do not need to open the door to do so. You can speak to them through the door or step outside and close the door.

If any such situation occurs then please contact our office immediately at 714-921-5226. We have 24 hours answering service available to take messages at any time.

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