Frequently, and most recently, immigrants have been relating that they are fearful about what to do if ICE goes to their home. In this blog, I share advice from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) about what to do if ICE knocks on your door.
If any officers come to your door, keep the door closed and ask if they are from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or if they are immigration agents. If they are, ask them why they are there. Although opening the door does not give the agents permission to come inside, it still is safer to speak to ICE through the door. If the agents do not speak your language, you can ask for an interpreter.
If the agents want to come in, ask them if they have a warrant signed by a judge. If they do not have one, you may refuse to open the door or to let them in. An administrative warrant of removal from immigration authorities is not enough. An administrative warrant is one that was issued by DHS or ICE and signed by a DHS or ICE employee.
If the agents say they have a warrant, ask them to slip it under the door so you can see for yourself what kind of warrant it is. Look at the top of the warrant to see if it was issued by a court; look at the signature line to see if it was signed by a judge.
Even if the agents have a warrant signed by a judge, you don’t have to open the door unless the warrant names a person in your home and/or specifies areas to be searched at your address.
In all other cases, keep the door closed and say, “I do not consent to your entry.”
If the agents ignore you and force their way in, do not try to resist. If you want to exercise your rights, say: “I do not consent to your entry or to your search of these premises. I am exercising my right to remain silent. I want to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.” Everyone in the home is also entitled to exercise the right to remain silent.
Do not lie or show false documents. Do not sign any papers without speaking to a lawyer.
If you need more information about what to do if ICE comes to your home, contact me or an experienced immigration attorney.