If you live in the United States, even if you are an undocumented immigrant, the U.S. Constitution grants you certain rights. Specifically, if U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents knock on your door, please know that you have the following rights:
You do not have to open the door.
- You do not have to let the officers into your home unless they have a valid search warrant signed by a judge.
- An ICE deportation warrant is not the same as a search warrant. If that is their only document, they cannot legally come inside–unless you verbally agree to let them in.
- If the officers say they have a search warrant signed by a judge, ask them to slide it under the door or hold it up to a window so you can see it.
- If the warrant does not have your correct name and address on it and is not signed by a judge, you do not have to open the door or let them in.
- If you decide to speak with the officers, you still do not need to open the door. You can speak to them through the door or step outside and close the door.
You have the right to remain silent.
- You are not required to speak to the immigration officers or answer any questions.
- If asked where you were born or how you entered the United States, you can refuse to answer or remain silent.
- If you choose to remain silent, say so out loud.
- You can show a know-your-rights card to the officer that explains that you will remain silent and wish to speak to a lawyer.
- You can refuse to show identity documents that say what country you are from.
- Do not show any false documents, and do not lie.
You have the right to speak to a lawyer.
- If you are detained or taken into custody, you have the right to immediately contact a lawyer.
- Even if you do not have a lawyer, you can tell the immigration officers that you want to speak to one.
- If you have a lawyer, you have the right to talk to them. If you have a signed Form G-28, which shows you have a lawyer, give it to an officer.
- If you do not have a lawyer, ask an immigration officer for a list of pro bono lawyers.
- You also have the right to contact your consulate. The consulate may be able to help you locate a lawyer.
- You can refuse to sign any/all paperwork until given the opportunity to speak to a lawyer.
- If you choose to sign something without speaking to a lawyer, be sure you understand exactly what the document says and means before you sign it.