Know Your Rights: What to Do If ICE Comes to Your Door

Sometimes officers can try to trick people to get them to open their doors or sign away their rights. If an officer detains you or you are concerned that they will conduct raids in your area, this is what you can do.


    You do not need to open the door to talk with an officer. Once you open the door, it is much harder to refuse to answer questions, but remember that you always have the right to remain silent.

  2. You Have the Right to Speak to a Lawyer

    You can tell an officer, “I need to speak to my lawyer,” and refuse to say anything else. You may have your lawyer with you if ICE or other law enforcement questions you. This is especially important if the officers ask you to sign anything – do NOT sign any documents that you do not understand. It is always best to review them with a lawyer first.

  3. Always Carry Any Valid Immigration Documents

    For example, if you have a valid work permit or green card, be sure to have it with you to show it for identification purposes. Do not carry papers from another country, such as a foreign passport, because they could be used against you in the deportation process.

  4. Let Officers Know About Your Family

    Telling the officers about U.S. citizen or legalized family members can help your case. 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.

  5. Create A Safety Plan

    Memorize the phone number of a friend, family member, or attorney that you can call if you are arrested. If you take care of children or other people, make sure you have a plan to have them taken care of if you are detained for a while. It also helps to keep important documents like birth certificates and immigration documents in a safe place where family or friends can access them if necessary. It is also very important to make sure your loved ones know how to find you if you are detained by ICE. When you are given an “A #”, make sure you let your family member and/or attorney know this number so they can keep track of where you are and any court proceedings.