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What to do if you are detained by ICE

Posted by attorney Mario Zapata
  • If you have a work permit, present it. Adults over the age of 18 should always carry their work authorization documentation with them. Not carrying this document puts you at risk!

  • Immigration officials are not obligated to provide you with free legal counsel, only a list of lawyer contact information.

  • Take advantage of your right to call a lawyer and your consulate. Memorize the telephone number of a lawyer or an organization that provides legal services. Also, make sure that your family will have these numbers at hand when you call them.

  • Some detention centers will charge you for the calls that you make, however, many will allow you to make collect calls.

  • In order to protect your rights, do not answer any question that Immigration officials ask you. Do not sign any documents without the presence of your lawyer.

  • Ask for a copy of all your immigration documents (like your Notice to Appear).

  • Contact your family immediately. Give them all the details of your arrest and the place where you are being detained. Also give them the name of the Immigration official who is in charge of your case.

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