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Know Your Rights With ICE

Know Your Rights With ICE

In today’s political atmosphere of heavy-handed immigration enforcement tactics, many immigrant families are living in fear of an encounter with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, whether in public or at their own homes. Rampant news stories of immigrants being detained by ICE in courthouses, at traffic stops, at workplaces, at their homes, or even while dropping off children at school have made immigrants and their families leery of any interaction with ICE agents. Therefore, it is essential that all immigrants know their legal rights when it comes to ICE, both to protect themselves and safeguard any defenses that they may have to deportation. First, if an ICE agent approaches you on the street or in a public place, do not answer any questions or even say your name. Rather, you should ask, “Am I free to go?” If the agent tells you that you are free to go, then tell him or her that you don’t want to talk or answer any questions, and walk away. On the other hand, if the ICE agent tells you that you are NOT free to go, then tell him or her that you are exercising your right not to answer any questions, and that you want to speak to a lawyer. If an ICE agent attempts to search you, tell him or her that you do not consent to the search. However, do not resist, try to run, or act impolite toward the agent; doing so is likely to get you nowhere, and may result in you being charged with resisting arrest or a similar crime. At the same time, you do not have to cooperate by giving any information to ICE or answering their questions. Do not show them any documents, whether they are false or legitimate, and do not give them any information about your country of origin or immigration status. If ICE knocks on your door, you do not have to let them in unless they have a warrant signed by a judge. Even if you open your door in response to a knock, ICE agents cannot come in without a warrant or the permission of an adult resident. You have the right to ask whether the agents are from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or ICE, and if they have a warrant that is signed by a judge (not just an immigration supervisor). Try to stay calm, remain polite, and simply turn them away, stating that you don’t wish to speak with them or allow them in your home. They may make threats toward you, but they may very well be false, so simply remain calm and do not respond in fear or anger. Knowing your rights with ICE can go a long way toward protecting yourself and your loved ones from deportation. However, there are instances in which knowing your rights still will not prevent your eventual arrest, detention, and deportation. If you or a loved one is facing deportation, don’t lose hope. From California to Arizona, the deportation defense attorneys of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. know how to help you through every step of your deportation proceedings. Take the first step today toward securing the future of your family in the United States, and call our office at (510) 756-4468 to set up a legal consultation with one of our highly skilled immigration lawyers.

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