Right now, U.S. immigration authorities are aggressive in finding and detaining people who may not be authorized to be in the country. This means you must be prepared for the possibility that agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will arrive at your door. You have rights in the U.S, even if you are not authorized to be here. But, how you react makes a difference in protecting yourself even if you end up in immigration court.

ICE agents cannot legally enter your home without a warrant signed by a judge. Stay alert to the fact that ICE officers may try to fool you into letting them in. Some will claim that they are police officers. They may try to convince you they are there for a reason not related to your immigration status.Do not open the door no matter what they say.

They must have a warrant to enter your home without your permission. You have the right to ask them to show you their identification and the warrant. You can ask them to slip it under the door or hold it up in a way that you can read the document, such as holding it up to a peephole or a window.

They may hold up a different document and say it’s a warrant. Pay close attention to anything they show you. It must be issued by a court and signed by a judge. It should look similar to the picture you can find here.

If possible, take pictures of any documents they show. If they refuse to share their documents, then ask for their card and contact information.

What you say to them is critical! Do not say anything except the following:

I do not consent for you to enter my home.

I do not want to talk to you without a lawyer present.

Please leave.

Everyone in your household should practice saying this. You could write it down and post it by your front door, so they can read it if they need to say it to someone at the door.

Ice may still enter by force. Continue to tell them you will not talk to them without a lawyer present. Take notes about everything that happens, including what they say.

It’s scary when people you don’t know come to your door. You must remain calm and remember – you do have rights!

Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. can help you protect your rights, and assist you with defending yourself from deportation. You can learn more about our team and our services by visiting our website. Follow this blog for more tips about the American immigration system.