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What to do if ICE comes for you

As an immigrant in the current political turmoil, you may constantly be in fear for your future. You do not want authorities to take you away from your loved ones, but neither do you want to risk breaking the law and making your case worse by not cooperating.

The first step in securing peace of mind is knowing what to do if U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents find you. These are the rights you have in various circumstances, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Home visit

If ICE comes knocking on your door, you do not have to open it unless the officials have a search warrant. Speak through the door, asking them to show the warrant in a window. Make sure the information on it is correct and contains a judge's signature. Do not answer any questions, only saying you wish to speak to a lawyer first. If they do have a warrant and take you into custody, assert your right to an attorney, especially before talking or signing anything.

Work visit

Sometimes, ICE will come to your work. If the area is not open to the public, the agents must show a search warrant or ask your employer for access permission. Again, you can state your desire not to reply but to speak to a lawyer first. Avoid the urge to run away and ask if you are free to leave. If they take you in, you can ask for a list of lawyers to call if you do not already have one.

Public stop

If you are in a public place, ask if you can leave and do not consent to a search if you are not under arrest. A pat-down is legal to ensure you do not have a weapon. If you are in the car, pull over, turn on interior lights if it is dark outside and place your hands on the wheel to make it clear you mean no harm. Show your driver's license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance but nothing else. You do not have to consent to a search. You and any passengers can ask to leave and refuse to talk further.

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16255 Ventura Blvd. Suite 1000
Encino, CA 91436

Phone: 818-788-8900
Fax: 818-788-5900
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