Executive Order 13768 of January 25, 2017 Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States signed a few weeks ago has the effect of practically criminalizing all those who are in unlawful status. As a result, most of the 11 million immigrants in unauthorized stay are fearful about their possible apprehension and removal. Whether or not this fear is real, knowing one’s rights in the event of an Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) raid or visit is important.
Below are the “Know Your Rights” information being disseminated by Immigration Legal Resource Center and other non-profit organizations which may be asserted if the inescapable ICE visit or arrest takes place.
You have the right to remain silent.
You can assert your fifth amendment right. You can refuse to speak to an ICE agent. Do not answer any questions, especially about your birth place, immigration status or how you entered the United States. Say that you want to remain silent until you speak with a lawyer.
You have the right to demand a warrant before letting anyone into your home.
The ICE agent may not enter your home without a warrant. You do not have to give permission for him to enter. It is okay not to open your door unless the agent shows you the warrant. If the warrant is presented to you, ask the agent to slip it under the door or through the window. Make sure it is signed by a judge with your correct name, address and date of birth.
You have the right to speak to a lawyer and the right to make a phone call.
It is important to have your attorney’s phone number handy. You will be entitled to make a phone call. If you do not know your attorney’s number, call a trusted friend or relative to coordinate with your attorney.
You have the right to refuse to sign anything before you talk to a lawyer.
There will be some documents that will be presented to you for signing after you are apprehended and taken into custody.. Do not sign anything. If you sign without understanding the nature of the document, it is possible that you are signing a waiver of your rights to a lawyer or to a hearing. And if you waive these rights, it may result in your immediate removal without a hearing.
You have the right to refuse to show any documents before speaking with a lawyer.
When you are visited by an ICE agent, you do not have to give permission to search any of your belongings unless there is a warrant. You can ask to speak with a lawyer before you submit any documentation.
Each case of an unauthorized individual is distinct and all non-U.S. citizens must be vigilant about their rights. During these challenging times, a legal advice from a professional immigration attorney becomes indispensable to figure out what legal options may still be available.
(Atty. Lourdes S. Tancinco is a San Francisco CA based immigration attorney at Tancinco Law Offices and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook/tancincolaw, or at 1 888 930 0808 or at 1 415 397 0808)