What Are Your Rights if ICE Agents Are At the Door?


Despite Covid-19, ICE continues to pursue immigrants across the country. In fact, given current events it’s more important than ever to understand your rights in the event that an immigration agent shows up at your home to give you a hard time.

Here’s what you need to know.

You do not have to open the door unless they have a warrant signed by a judge.

You can keep the door closed and speak to them through the door. Opening the door gives them more room to plant evidence, or to claim they “spotted something” which gave them probable cause to enter the home.

You do not want to give ICE agents an inch. 

If they don’t have a warrant signed by a judge then you can say “I do not consent to your entry.” They cannot legally force their way inside. 

If they do have an order it must name every person they’re looking for or the areas to be searched at your addressed, as well as the things or people they’re searching for. They cannot search for anyone or anything or in any places not named by that warrant. 

Remember, ICE does tell lies to get people to let them in.

You can ask for an interpreter.

If you don’t understand what the ICE agents are saying you can and should ask for an interpreter. You have the right to understand what’s going on when you are interacting with any law enforcement agents.

You have the right to remain silent even before any arrest takes place.

While ICE agents are supposed to read Miranda rights, you have those regardless. You have to assert them for them to apply prior to the Miranda warning. “I am exercising my right to remain silent.”

Basically this means you do not have to answer any questions. If the ICE agents push, say, “I am exercising my right to an attorney.” 

Call your immigration lawyer as quickly as possible. In fact it’s not a bad idea to call your immigration attorney the moment ICE shows up at your door, before you even start interacting with them. 

You do not have to sign any papers or show documentation if there is no warrant. 

It’s rarely a good idea to sign anything that ICE gives to you. You should be especially leery of signing anything that your attorney hasn’t had a chance to look over yet. 

If police don’t have a warrant you don’t have to show paperwork in your own home. If you aren’t sure, call your attorney.

Never lie or show false documentation as these are crimes and can be used against you later. It’s better to exercise your right to remain silent which means you neither have to show documentation nor speak. Continue to assert your right to an attorney until your attorney gets there to handle the situation. Knowing your rights can prevent an arrest

Interacting with ICE can be terrifying, but you don’t have to accommodate them nearly as much as you may have been led to believe. 

Got questions? Need help? Call Hykel Law today. 

See also:

Coping With Loss of Status in a Crisis

What Are the Grounds for Cancellation of Removal

The Basics of Illegal Immigration


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