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What to Expect When Dealing with ICE


If an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer approaches you, it is important to understand your rights. Even if you are not a United States citizen, you still have a right to certain privileges and an element of privacy. Recent changes to immigration law under the Trump Administration have led to stronger legal enforcement of immigration regulations, led by the ICE. The ICE may approach you looking for proof of your status as a legal immigrant or naturalized citizen, whether at home, at work, or on the street. For this reason, all individuals living in the United States should know what to do if confronted by an immigration officer.

Keep Your Door Closed

When an immigration officer with ICE approaches you at home, you have the right to keep the door closed. Unless they have a valid search warrant signed by a judge, you are not required to allow the officers into your home. Even if they have a deportation warrant, ICE officers cannot enter your home without a search warrant or without your permission.

Remain Silent

You also have the right to remain silent and are in no way obligated to speak to the immigration officers if you do not wish to. In most situations, it is better if you do not because the officer may try to get more information out of you than you are willing to share. ICE officers will likely ask where you were born, how you entered the United States or may ask to see identity documents. If you are not a documented citizen and immigration officers ask to see your papers, you must provide them with your papers if you are not at home and have the papers on you. If you do not have your papers on you, remain silent and do not, under any circumstances, provide false papers or lie. Remember, the information you share could then be used against you later on.

The best thing to do is to tell the officers you choose to remain silent and that you will not speak without your lawyer present. If you are detained or taken into custody, you will then have the right to contact your immigration lawyer for further assistance.

The ICE & Your Workplace

ICE officers may not enter your workplace without consent from your employer or a valid search warrant. If you are undocumented and feel frightened, remember that running away in a panic is the worst thing you can do. Remain calm and if you are questioned, tell the officer you wish to remain silent until you speak with your attorney.

Protecting Your Rights When Detained

If you are taken into custody, you do have the right to an attorney, but the U.S. government does not have to provide you with one. If you do not already have an immigration attorney, you can ask to be provided with a list, but it is always best to be prepared.

After a run-in with authorities from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, if you feel your rights have been violated in any way, contact an immigration attorney immediately. Write down everything you remember of the incident, including descriptions of the immigration officers, and any words of refusal on your part. If you stated that you wished to remain silent, or refused to allow the officers into your home, record when you made those statements and the reactions of the immigration officers. This account can be used to help your case later on.

If you need help with an ICE issue, our immigration lawyers can help. Contact the Law Offices of Michael M. Felix to get started today.

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