Know Your Rights: If ICE Visits Your Home

If you find you have to deal with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or other law enforcement officers at home, on the street, or anywhere else, remember that you have rights as described in the fact sheets found at this link:

You have the following rights:

You have the right to remain silent. You may refuse to speak to immigration officers.

  • Don’t answer any questions. You may also say that you want to remain silent.
  • Don’t say anything about where you were born or how you entered the U.S.
  • You may show a “know-your-rights” card to an officer that explains that you will remain silent and wish to speak to a lawyer.

Do not open your door.

  • To be allowed to enter your home, ICE must have a warrant signed by a judge. Do not open your door unless an ICE agent shows you a warrant. (They almost never have one.) If an ICE agent wants to show you a warrant, they can hold it against a window or slide it under the door.  To be valid, the warrant must have your correct name and address on it.
  • You do not need to open the door to talk with an ICE agent. Once you open the door, it is much harder to refuse to answer questions.  You can speak to them through the door or step outside and close the door.

You have the right to speak to a lawyer.

  • You can simply say, “I need to speak to my attorney.”
  • If you have a signed G-28 with an attorney, give it to the officer.
  • You may have your lawyer with you if ICE or other law enforcement questions you.
  • If you do not have a lawyer, ask an immigration officer for a list of pro bono lawyers.

Before you sign anything, talk to a lawyer.

  • ICE may try to get you to sign away your right to see a lawyer or a judge. Be sure you understand what a document actually says before you sign it.

Always carry with you any valid immigration document you have.

  • For example, if you have a valid work permit or green card, be sure to have it with you in case you need to show it for identification purposes.