US Constitution has provided certain rights to all people living in the United States including undocumented immigrants. If you are an undocumented immigrant and an immigration officer comes to your home, work place or stops you on the street, please know your following rights.
If US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents come to your home, following are some of the rights you should be aware of:
Do not open the door: You are not required to open the door or let officers enter your home unless they have a valid search warrant with your correct name and address and is signed by a judge. You can see if the search warrant is valid by staying inside and asking the officer to show you through the window or slide it under the door. Further, if the officers have a valid search warrant, they require your verbal consent to enter your premises. If you decide not to let the officers inside the premises but you want to speak to the officers, you can do so through the window or step outside and close the door behind you. Please note that a search warrant is different from ICE deportation warrant.
Right to remain silent: You have a right to remain silent and not speak to immigration officers or answer any questions. You may also refuse to show identity documents indicating your country of origin. But please do not lie or show false documents. If you are not sure what to do, remain silent and use the services of an attorney and let the officers know your choice to remain silent.
Right to speak to an attorney: Please contact an attorney immediately if you are detained or taken into custody. If you have a legal representative or Form G-28 signed, show it to the officer. If you do not know who to contact, ask the officer to provide you with the list of pro bono attorneys. You can refuse to sign on any or all paper work unless you have an opportunity to speak to an attorney. You can also contact your consulate. If you sign any document before talking to an attorney, please understand what you are signing.
If you are an undocumented immigrant and ICE officer shows up at your place of work, you have a right to remain silent and right to speak to an attorney, as discussed above. Please do not panic and run away. If you are frightened, you can calmly walk out from the exit. If you are stopped by the ICE agents, you can ask if you are free to leave. If you are not, then do not exit the building and let them know your choice to remain silent and your right to talk to an attorney.
If you are an undocumented immigrant and ICE officer stops you on the street or public place, you still have certain Constitutionally protected rights. You have right to remain silent and right to speak to an attorney, as discussed above. Additionally, you may refuse a search of yourself or your belongings if you are stopped for questioning but not arrested. But the officer may “pat down” your clothes if he suspects any weapon on you.
Please know your rights and exercise them if required.