What to Do if ICE Shows Up At Your House
There are few things more frightening than finding immigration enforcement at your door. Yet you aren’t helpless in this situation. You do have rights, you just have to remember to exercise them.
In fact, the more you exercise your rights, and the more effectively you do so, the stronger your case is likely to be when you try to avoid removal in the courts later.
You have the right to ask for a warrant.
If ICE doesn’t have one you don’t have to open the door, you don’t have to talk to them, and you don’t have to let them into the house. That warrant must be signed by a judge, and it must be specific.
If they don’t have a warrant? You don’t even have to show them your paperwork.
The last thing you want to do is let them in to speak to you, or to say much at all. They can use anything they see or hear against you.
You have the right to remain silent.
You don’t have to wait till you’re arrested to exercise your right to remain silent. You can simply exercise them by saying: “I’m exercising my right to remain silent and invoking my right to an attorney.”
Refuse to say anything else. If you aren’t under arrest yet, call your immigration attorney immediately so that your attorney can spring into action quickly on your behalf.
Anything you say will be used against you later. Quite a bit of it might be twisted or taken out of context in a court hearing. It’s better to say nothing at all, but you have to consciously invoke this right for it to apply.
You have the right to an interpreter.
If you don’t speak English well you don’t have to struggle through while ICE agents bark orders and questions at you. You can demand an interpreter in the language that you speak. This service must be provided to you free of charge.
You have the right to understand what they want from you and what’s going on so that you can make rational and informed decisions about how to respond. This is true of dealing with conventional law enforcement agents as well.
Sometimes ICE will not respect your rights.
There are ICE agents that will try to run roughshod over you even when you invoke your rights. Invoking them is still very important. If you invoke your rights and they ignore you then you can use this against them in court later.
You also avoid giving ICE agents additional evidence to use against you.
Knowing your rights can prevent an arrest or help you stay in the country. It can also keep you from panicking and making major mistakes, like lying or producing false documentation.
Need help staying in the United States? Call our law office today so you can speak to an experienced immigration attorney.
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