Know Your Rights: Encounters with ICE

The U.S. Constitution grants certain rights to all people living in the United States, regardless of immigration status. This is important to know what these rights are, now that we are experiencing heightened immigration enforcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), its sub-units:  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and other law enforcement officers.

Everyone has the following 2 rights:

(1) The right to remain silent — You do not need to speak to immigration officers or answer their questions. Say out loud that you will refuse to answer any questions until you have spoken with a lawyer.

(2) The right to speak to a lawyer — Especially if you are detained or taken into custody, you have the right to contact an attorney. If you do not currently have one, you may still tell immigration officers that you would still want to speak to an attorney, and then remain silent as described above.

If ICE Visits Your Home:

  • You do not have to open the door or let authorities into your home unless they have a valid search warrant signed by a judge.
  • If there is a valid search warrant, ask the warrant to be slid under your door or held up to a window so that you can review it.
  • If the warrant does not have your correct name, your correct address, or signature from a judge, you do not have to open your door.
  • Choose to remain silent by saying so out loud.
  • Show authorities your KNOW-YOUR-RIGHTS card.
  • Do not show any documents.
  • Ask to speak to your lawyer.
  • Ask to speak to your home country’s consulate office.

If ICE Stops You in Public:

  • Choose to remain silent by saying so out loud.
  • Show authorities your KNOW-YOUR-RIGHTS card.
  • Ask if you are free to leave.
  • Do not show any documents.
  • Ask to speak to your lawyer.
  • Ask to speak to your home country’s consulate office.

If ICE Goes to Your Workplace:

  • Choose to remain silent by saying so out loud.
  • Show authorities your KNOW-YOUR-RIGHTS card.
  • Ask if you are free to leave.
  • Do not show any documents.
  • Ask for a valid search warrant signed by a judge.
  • If there is no search warrant, authorities need the consent of your employer to search non-public areas.
  • Ask to speak to your lawyer.
  • Ask to speak to your home country’s consulate office.

If you have specific questions about your rights, your immigration status, and how this enforcement can impact your decisions, contact GSL Immigration Law at (408) 982-3036.

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