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Is it possible to be denied entry for remaining silent during secondary inspection when interrogated about a case?

Oakland, CA |

I'm on a F-1 visa and was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. I have completed a diversion program in which i did not have to make any guilty pleas whatsoever. From my research, this is not a conviction for immigration purposes. I have checked with my lawyer already. The case is going to be dismissed. I am currently outside of the US right now and would be returning. I would most likely be sent to secondary inspection at POE to provide more details about the case and if they ask me to explain everything about the case, can i remain silent? I want to be cooperative but not be making any admissions to the crime either.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    Most likely your lawyer is a criminal defense, and not an immigration, attorney.

    That person needs to get an immigration attorney on your 'team'. Or, you need to have a consultation with an immigration attorney at your own expense.

    SILENCE is NOT golden. You need to have court papers in your hand ... especially if your research supports your belief that it isn't an immigration conviction.

    FORMER IMMIGRATION LAW PROFESSOR -- LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.


  2. You state that you have a lawyer. That person is most familiar with the case and the best person to advise you.


  3. Since this is a case-specific inquiry, I would recommend consulting with your counsel. I would imagine that if you specifically asked re: an incident or arrest at the POE, you cannot remain silent about that, but instead must divulge the facts surrounding the case. Again, consult with your attorney.

    This information is for informational and educational use only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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