Shrinking Oceans and Cutting Red Tape in Pursuit of the American Dream

Immigration Law Blog

Blog on immigration law information, issues and news.

Understanding Your Rights in the Presence of ICE

Did you know that even undocumented immigrant have rights in the United States? Under the United States Constitution any person living in the country have certain rights. Many people are unaware of their rights and therefore jeopardize their immigration status. Below are a few steps to help you during an encounter with an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent (ICE) in public or at your home:

  • You have the right to remain silent.

  • You DO NOT have to answer any questions from the immigration officer.

  • You DO NOT have to answer any questions pertaining to where you were born, how you entered the country, or what your immigration status is. 

  • ** There are separate rules on your right to remain silent when it comes to international borders and airports. **

  • You have the right to refuse to sign any legally binding document.

  • You are NOT OBLIGATED to sign any legally binding document without an attorney present.

  • If you do not understand what you are signing then you are NOT OBLIGATED to do so unless the proper representation is present.

  • You have the right to speak with an attorney.

  • You will ALWAYS have the right to consult with an attorney. 

  • Inform the immigration officer that you would like to speak with your attorney. 

  • You have the right to refuse to open the door if ICE comes to your home.

  • ICE needs a signed warrant from a judge in order to enter your home. 

  • If they do not have a warrant they are not allowed to enter your home without your permission.

  • If they have a warrant in order for it to be valid it needs to be signed by a judge, have your correct physical address, and your correct name. 

  • The ICE agent can either hold the valid warrant against a window or slide it under the door for you to view its authenticity. 

  • Make it a habit to ALWAYS carry a “Know Your Rights” card with you at all times.

  • It is important for you to always be prepared for any scenario, especially when it comes to your immigration status. 

  • ICE agents at times can be intimidating and therefore can make a person forget that they have constitutional rights. That is why it’s always easier to carry a “Know Your Rights” card with you which allows the ICE agents to understand that you know your rights and that you are exercising them in their presence. 

  • Make it a habit to ALWAYS carry with you any valid immigration documentation. 

  • If you are in the United States legally then you should ALWAYS carry your valid immigration documentation.


  • If you have any further questions or concerns about your rights feel free to contact an immigration attorney. 


Mercedes Riggs