Know Your Rights as an Immigrant by Christopher A. Kerosky
Once again, Donald Trump has declared his intention to start raids against our immigrant communities. (“ICE”) has formulated a plan to find and deport thousands of immigrants, and announced that it will be implemented starting this weekend.
I’ve written the detailed description below as a Guide for Immigrantsas to their legal rights and remedies when confronted by ICE - Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Para leer en espaňol: https://kpbinmigracion.blogspot.com/2019/07/conozca-sus-derechos-ante-el-servicio.html
Part 1 covers what to do if ICE comes to your home.
Part 2 of this article covers what to do if ICE comes to your workplace or approaches you on the street.
Part 3 discusses what steps to take if ICE takes you into custody.
Part 1: What to do if confronted by ICE
At your house
ICE can enter your home in three situations: (1) if they have a warrant; or (2) if you give them permission; or (3) they think there is presently a crime being committed in your home. If ICE comes to your house and knocks on your door, you do not have to open the door or let them in. Typically, to legally enter your home, ICE must have a search warrant or arrest warrant with your name and address on it. A warrant is an order signed by a judge to search a place and/or arrest a person.
If ICE comes to your home, you should ask to see a warrant. ICE must show you the warrant. If the officials do not have a warrant, you do not have to let them in or speak to them at all. However, if you give them permission to come in, then they can legally enter your home and search it.
The Right to Remain SILENT
Whether ICE comes to your house and knocks on your door, enters your workplace, or even questions you in jail, you have the right to remain silent. In other words, you do not have to provide your citizenship information to Immigration Service officials. You can just indicate that you do not want to speak to them.
An immigration official may not request evidence of your immigration status in your home or another private place without a warrant. Even if they have a warrant, you must only provide proof of your immigration status if you are in legal status. After showing evidence of your status, you still have the right to remain silent.
The Right to SPEAK to an Attorney
Once you have shown evidence of your legal status, if you have it, you do not have to talk to officers further – it is up to you. In most cases, you may be better off remaining silent and talking to a lawyer first, depending on your situation. This is your right under the law. If the Immigration Service asks anything about your political and religious beliefs, groups you belong to or contribute to, things you have said, where you have traveled or other questions that do not seem right, you do not have to answer them.
Part 2: Your RIGHTS at WORK and if in other places if confronted by ICE
Out in Public
If an ICE official begins to ask you questions while you are walking down the street or in another public place such as a park, you can continue walking. ICE must allow you to pass by if they do not have a “good reason” to keep asking you questions. An example of a “good reason” is if you are leaving a place where they have previously found many undocumented workers. They cannot stop you just because you are dark-skinned or because you have a foreign accent. Remember that you have the right to remain silent.
However, it is very important not to run. If you run away from them, you are giving them a good reason to arrest you.
ICE can legally go into areas open to the public at workplaces, such as the reception area of a business. However, to enter places that are not open to the public, they must have a warrant or permission from the boss or owner. If ICE enters your workplace with or without a warrant, you always have the right to remain silent. They should only ask you questions if they have a good reason to believe that you are not a U.S. citizen.
In a Car
ICE needs a good reason to stop you and search your car. If ICE has a good reason for stopping you (for example, they see drugs in your car), they can search your car without a search warrant from a judge.
If the police stop you, you must only show them your driver’s license and car registration. The police should not ask you any questions about your legal status in the U.S. because they enforce local law and immigration law is federal law, not local law. However, the police in many areas are cooperating more and more with ICE and being more aggressive. Police may require proof of your legal status, but remember anything you say can be used against you. So it is really important to only say your name and address to the police. You can remain silent and request an attorney before you answer any other questions from the police.