Checklist – If immigration officers (ICE) knock on your door

An ICE deportation warrant is not the same as a search warrant. If this is the only document they have, they cannot legally come inside unless you verbally agree to let them in.

RECENTLY, our office has noticed growing concern in the community about the possibility of immigration (ICE) agents unexpectedly knocking on the door of your home.   Our office has received a lot of inquiry as to what to do in such a situation. 

It is important to realize that all people living in the United States, including undocumented immigrants, have certain U.S. Constitutional rights. If you are undocumented and immigration (ICE) agents knock on your door, know that you have the following rights:

• You do not have to open the door.  You do not have to open the door or let the officers into your home unless they have a valid search warrant signed by a judge.

• An ICE deportation warrant is not the same as a search warrant.  If this is the only document they have, they cannot legally come inside unless you verbally agree to let them in.

• If the officers say they have a search warrant signed by a judge, ask them to slide it under the door or hold it up to a window so you can see it.

• If the warrant does not have your correct name and address on it and is not signed by a judge, you do not have to open the door or let them inside.

• If at any point you decide to speak with the officers, you do not need to open the door to do so. You can speak to them through the door or step outside and close the door.

• You have the right to remain silent. You do not need to speak to the immigration officers or answer any questions.

• If you are asked where you were born or how you entered the United States, you may refuse to answer or remain silent.

• If you choose to remain silent, say so out loud.

• You may refuse to show identity documents that say what country you are from.

• Do not show any false documents and do not lie.

• You have the right to speak to a lawyer. If you are detained or taken into custody, you have the right to immediately contact a lawyer.

• Even if you do not have a lawyer, you may tell the immigration officers that you want to speak to one.

• If you have a lawyer, you have the right to talk to them. If you have a signed Form G-28, which shows you have a lawyer, give it to an officer.

• You can refuse to sign any/all paperwork until you have had the opportunity to speak to a lawyer.• If you choose to sign something without speaking to a lawyer, be sure you understand exactly what the document says and means before you sign it.

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Darrick V. Tan, Esq. is admitted to practice law in California and Nevada.  Mr. Tan is a graduate of UCLA and Southwestern University School of Law.  He is a member of the Consumers Attorney Association of Los Angeles and is a former member of the Board of Governors of the Philipp ine American Bar Association.

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LAW OFFICES OF DARRICK V. TAN, 3580 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 900, Los Angeles, CA 90010.  Tel:  (323) 639-0277.  Email: info@dtanlaw.com.       

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