If you’re not a full United States citizen, and immigration agents come to your door, it could strike terror in your heart given recent events in which legal and undocumented residents were unexpectedly arrested by immigration authorities. If you’re facing a situation like this, and immigration agents are knocking on your door and ringing your doorbell, here is some important information that will help you navigate this circumstance:
1. Don’t open the door but ask who they are. With the door closed, specifically ask the people if they are immigration agents or if they have come from ICE.
2. Ask them why they have come to your home.
3. The immigration agents should not be able to legally enter your home without a warrant, even if you open the door. However, it’s safer to keep the door shut while talking to them. There’s always the chance that they’ll see something inside your home that gives them the excuse to enter.
4. Ask for an interpreter if the agents aren’t speaking your language.
5. If the agents want to come inside, ask if they have a signed judge’s warrant. An administrative warrant is not sufficient. Unless there is warrant signed by an actual judge, you don’t have to let them inside.
6. If they have a warrant, ask them to put it through the mail slot or under the door and read it carefully. Make sure it was issued by a court and signed by a judge. It should also name the person in your home and/or areas that shall be searched.
7. If it’s not a judge’s warrant, say, “I do not consent to your entry.”
8. If they force their way into your home, don’t try to resist them. You can, however, exercise your legal rights by stating, “I do not consent to your entry or to your search of these premises. I am exercising my right to remain silent. I wish to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.”
These guidelines could help you in the event that immigration agents come to your home. You may have other options available to you if you or a loved one has been arrested by immigration agents, so make sure you investigate your legal rights thoroughly.