What To Do If You Are Stopped By ICE
Quick tips for undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. if they are stopped or visited by ICE - U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Agents.
Remember Your RightsFirst, you have the right to remain silent and if you choose to use this right, tell the officers that you wish to remain silent, and then stop answering questions.
Second, you have the right to speak to a lawyer. Ask that you be allowed to contact your immigration attorney, if you have one. If you do not have an attorney, tell the officer that you wish to hire an attorney. You also have the right to contact the nearest consulate of your country.
Protect Yourself - Hire an Experienced Immigration AttorneyIf you do not have an immigration attorney already, have your family or friends hire an experienced immigration lawyer to represent you. Your attorney will speak to ICE on your behalf, and if you qualify, assist you with your bond, a stay of removal or any immigration waivers and applications that may allow you to remain in the U.S. legally. Your attorney can also help you file any necessary applications, and explain what to expect during this time.
Make Smart Choices - With Or Without A LawyerFirst, carefully read all documents that you are given so that you really understand them. Do not sign any documents without speaking to your immigration attorney for you may not be able make changes or withdraw the signed document later.
Second, do not sign any papers to leave the U.S. voluntarily, instead ask for a hearing before an immigration judge. In front of an immigration judge, you may be able to apply for bond, waivers or cancel removal, if you qualify.
If ICE knocks on your door at home:You do not have to open the door unless ICE has a search warrant signed by a judge with your correct name and address. You do not have to provide the agents with your identity documents.
Remember your rights again - you have the right to remain silent and if you choose to remain silent, you should say this and then stop speaking. Also, you have the right to speak to a lawyer, so let the officers know if you would like to speak to your attorney.
Speak UpIf you do not understand a question that you are asked, let the officers know that you do not understand the question. This is not the time to guess what you are being asked. Also, if English is not your first language and you feel more comfortable speaking in your native language, do let the officer or agent know that you need an interpreter so that you avoid making simple but costly mistakes due to miscommunication.
Do Not Make Things WorseAbove all, do not provide a false answer because you feel threatened or think that is what the immigration officer wants to hear. Do not lie or present false identity documents for this is wrong, and may cause you more problems with the immigration service now and in the future. If you want more information about your rights or whether you qualify for any immigration relief, please contact an experienced immigration lawyer.