© 2017 by Law Office of Edward F. McGinty P.C. The contents of this website and links to other websites and materials are educational in nature and are not intended as legal advice in any professional capacity and should not be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship without a mutual agreement between the parties.

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What Should I Do If There Is An ICE Raid? What Are My Rights? What Are ICE Agents Allowed To Do To Me?

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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS WITH ICE

  1. You have a Right to remain silent,

  2. You have a Right not to be searched or provide documents,

  3. You have a Right to a lawyer,

  4. You should have an immigration attorney's phone number in your cell phone!

  5. Do not run or hide!

  6. ICE agents are not cops, they are employees at an administrative agency!

  7. There are only two things you should ever say to an ICE Agent:

    1. "AM I FREE TO GO?"

    2. "LAWYER!"

 

ICE agents are not cops, but they can become cops - but only if you help them. How do they become cops? They turn themselves into cops by employing two tactics:

  1. Fear: An army shows up in riot gear, they carry guns, etc;

  2. Ignorance: They assume you do not know your rights!

If you say nothing, they have very little power.

 

If you ask an ICE Agent "AM I FREE TO GO" they are legally required to answer YES or NO.

If they say "YES, you are free to go": WALK AWAY - even if you are at your home or your job.

There are only four ways that an ICE Agent can tell you that you "NO, you are not free to go":

  1. They are lying, or

  2. They know who you are and that you are illegal or deportable, or

  3. They know who you are and you have an arrest warrant for criminal activity, or

  4. They witnessed you involved in criminal activity.

In the absence of these four things they are legally required to say "YES, you are free to go." 

If they say "NO, you are not free to go": there is only one word you say - "LAWYER!!!"

  1. NEVER SAY ANYTHING OTHER THAN "LAWYER".

  2. NEVER SIGN ANYTHING.

  3. NEVER SHOW THEM YOUR IDENTIFICATION.

  4. NEVER CONSENT TO THEM SEARCHING YOU, YOUR HOME, OR YOUR CAR.

When you say "lawyer" they are legally required to stop asking you ANY questions until you speak to a lawyer. They will try to get you to speak but DO NOT SPEAK. It doesn't matter whether you have a lawyer or not. They have to allow you to make a phone call - call your lawyer or call your family and tell them to get a lawyer.

If ICE Knocks On Your Door At Home:

DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR. NEVER CONSENT TO ALLOWING ICE TO ENTER YOUR HOME.

If you are 1) illegal, 2) deportable, or 3) have a Green Card or some other type of visa and you have a prior criminal conviction, you should never answer the door under any circumstances. If the person who is knocking on the door knows you they most likely have your phone number - wait for them to call you. At a minimum, look out the window to make sure it's not ICE - and even then, be aware that ICE Agents often dress in civilian clothing.

If it is ICE, ignore them as long as possible - they will likely go away if they do not have a search warrant. If they continue knocking, they most likely have some type of warrant. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR. Speak to them with the door closed. Ask them if they have a warrant. If they say yes, ask them to slip it under the door. If it will not fit under the door, ask them to leave it by the door and step away so that you may take it inside and inspect it.

There are several types of warrants, only one of which authorizes them to enter your home:

  1. Administrative Warrant: This "warrant" is no warrant at all - it is a piece of paper signed by an ICE Agent - not a judge. They are not authorized to enter your home - tell them to go away (respectfully). To see an example of a "Administrative Warrant" click here.

  2. Order Of Deportation: Although signed by a judge it is not a search warrant. They are not authorized to enter your home - tell them to go away (respectfully).

  3. Civil Search Warrant: This warrant, although signed by a judge, only authorizes ICE to enter a business - not your home - tell them to go away (respectfully). To see an example of a "Civil Search Warrant" click here

  4. Criminal Arrest Warrant: This warrant is signed by a judge and authorizes law enforcement to arrest someone for criminal activity. However, a "Criminal Arrest Warrant" without an accompanying "Criminal Search Warrant" does not authorize them to enter your home - tell them it is not a "Criminal Search Warrant" and you are not letting them in (respectfully). 

  5. Criminal Search Warrant: This is the ONLY warrant that authorizes law enforcement to enter a home. This warrant is signed by a judge and authorizes law enforcement to search a premises (including a home) for evidence of criminal activity. However, your immigration status is not criminal activity! And remember, you still have:

    1. A right to remain silent,

    2. A right to leave if you are not a target of the search,* 

    3. A right to refuse to show them any documents in your physical possession,

    4. A right to refuse a search of your body and belongings in your possession, like a purse or wallet.**

    5. A right to a lawyer.

*Law Enforcement are authorized to have you to remain at the premises for a reasonable period of time while they conduct the search.

**Law enforcement can search you and your physical possessions only if your name is on the search warrant. However, if law enforcement suspects that you might have a weapon, they are permitted to pat down the outside of your clothing to detect a weapon, however they are not permitted to go into your pockets unless they are pulling out a weapon.

When you get the search warrant from the ICE Agent under the door, READ IT CAREFULLY.

  1. Make sure it is a Criminal Search Warrant to search for evidence of a crime - your immigration status is not a crime! If it is not a Criminal Search Warrant - do not let them in.

  2. Make sure it has your specific address on it - including your apartment number, etc.

  3. Make sure it is signed by a judge.

  4. Check the date to make sure it is still active.

If they have a "Criminal Search Warrant" for your home, do the following:

  1. Allow them to enter,

  2. Ask them: "Am I free to go?" 

  3. If they say yes: LEAVE! 

  4. If they say no, say one word only: LAWYER! 

  5. Never sign anything.

  6. Never show identification.

  7. Never tell them your name.

  8. Never consent to searches of any kind. They may ask you during the search if they may search something. They are only asking because that "thing" (you, a purse, a car outside, etc.) is not listed in the search warrant - say no. 

If ICE Shows Up At Work:

To Employees:

Make sure you inform your boss - TODAY - that your boss does not have to allow ICE into his business unless they have a "Civil Search Warrant" or a "Criminal Search Warrant" signed by a judge.

If ICE enters your workplace:

  1. Do not run or hide.

  2. Ask "Am I Free To Go?"

  3. If they say yes: LEAVE! 

  4. If they say no, say one word only: LAWYER! 

  5. Never sign anything.

  6. Never show identification.

  7. Never tell them your name.

  8. Never consent to searches of any kind. 

To Employers:

You DO NOT have to allow ICE into your business unless they have a "Civil Search Warrant" or a "Criminal Search Warrant" (see above). If you run a business that is open to the public, such as a restaurant, ICE agents are allowed to be in the public areas - BUT NOT areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as the kitchen or office, without a search warrant. If they do not have a search warrant you can force them to leave - you can even call the local police and have them removed!

It is absolutely in your best interest to educate your employees and management about what their rights are and how to effectively handle an ICE Raid. A properly handled ICE Raid should have little impact on your business. However, if your management and employees mishandle an ICE raid you will lose employees, be subject to penalties for hiring persons unauthorized to work, and productivity and revenue for that day and beyond will be drastically affected.

This Is The Best Chart I've Ever Seen In Explaining Your Rights!