KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
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Click here for a printable Know Your Rights wallet card.
No matter who is president, everyone – including undocumented immigrants – living in the U.S. has certain basic rights under the U.S. Constitution.
If you find you have to deal with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or other law enforcement officers at home, on the street, or anywhere else, it is important that we all know and practice our basic rights.
1. You have the right to remain silent. You may refuse to speak to immigration officers.
- Don’t answer any questions. You may also say that you want to remain silent.
- Don’t say anything about where you were born or how you entered the U.S.
- Do not run from ICE officers. Try to stay calm and remember your right to remain silent.
2. Carry a know your rights card (click here to print one) and show it if an immigration officer stops you.
- The card explains that you will remain silent and that you wish to speak with an attorney.
- To print the above card, click on the card’s image, then press Ctrl-P on your keyboard.
- Call NAKASEC’s hotline (1-844-500-3222) to report ICE activity and to get support.
3. Do not open your door.
- To be allowed to enter your home, ICE must have a warrant. Ask ICE to slide a warrant under the door or show you through the window. (They almost never have one.)
- Make sure the warrant is signed by a judge.
- Verify that the warrant has your correct name and address on it.
- If the warrant is an ICE administrative warrant (it will say I-200 or I-205), ICE does not have the right to enter your home without your consent.
- Carry out any conversations with the door remaining closed.
4. You have the right to speak to a lawyer.
- You can simply say, “I need to speak to my attorney.”
- You may have your lawyer with you if ICE or other law enforcement questions you.
5. Do not sign anything that ICE gives you without talking to an attorney.
- ICE may try to get you to sign away your right to see a lawyer or a judge. Do not sign anything ICE gives you without consulting with an attorney.
6. Always carry with you any valid immigration document you have.
- For example, if you have a valid work permit or green card, be sure to have it with you in case you need to show it for identification purposes.
- Do not carry papers from another country with you, such as a foreign passport. Such papers could be used against you in the deportation process.
7. Remain calm and collected during an encounter with ICE.
- Sometimes ICE officers lie to people in order to get them to open their doors or sign away their rights, so remain alert and calm throughout the encounter with ICE.
- Be aware that sometimes ICE officers will not wear vests that say ICE. They could be wearing plain clothes.
8. If you are worried ICE will arrest you, let the officer know if you have children, a health condition or anything else that would cause you or your family to suffer if you are taken into custody
- If you are the parent or primary caregiver of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is under age 18, ICE may “exercise discretion” and let you go.
- If you have a health condition that must be treated if you are taken into custody, tell ICE and demand medical treatment.
9. Report and document raids and arrests.
- If it is possible and safe for you to do so, take photos and videos of the raid or arrest, unless you are on federal government property. Take notes of badge numbers, number of agents, time, type of car, and exactly what happened.
- Call NAKASEC’s hotline to report a raid: 1-844-500-3222.
10. Create a safety plan.
- Memorize the phone number of a friend, family member, or attorney that you can call if you are arrested.
- Give NAKASEC’s hotline number to a family member, friend or attorney so we can support you if you are detained: 1-844-500-3222.
- If you take care of children or other people, make a plan to have them taken care of if you are detained.
- Keep important documents such as birth certificates and immigration documents in a safe place where a friend or family member can access them if necessary.
- Make sure your loved ones know how to find you if you are detained by ICE. They can use ICE’s online detainee locator (https://locator.ice.gov/odls/homePage.do) to find an adult who is in immigration custody. Or they can call the local ICE office (https://www.ice.gov/contact/ero). Make sure they have your alien registration number written down, if you have one. If your family member calls the NAKASEC hotline, we also can assist with locating your family member.
- You can call the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) hotline number at 240-314-1500 or 1-800-898-7180 (toll-free) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get information on your case’s status.
Content adapted and modified from the National Immigration Law Center’s “Know Your Rights.”.