What to Do If ICE Comes to Your Home
For millions of people throughout the country, a knock at the door from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a great source of anxiety. No matter the legal status of you or your loved ones, your rights are protected should this occur. You must, however, have at least a basic understanding of what your rights are in order to exercise them. So, if you ever have an ICE agent knocking at your door, keep the following information in mind.
Do Not Open the Door
No matter who is at your door, you do not have to open it when they knock. If they identify themselves as ICE agents, ask them if they have a warrant. If they do not have a warrant, you are under absolutely no legal obligation to open your door or let them in. If they claim that they do have a warrant, tell them that you want to see it. You can look at the warrant by having them either hold it up to a window or having them slide it under the door.
When they give you their documentation, actually take the time to review them since not all documents will give them the right to enter your home. Let the agents know that you are reading the document and that it will take a minute. Some key things to look for include:
- Type of Warrant – Not all warrants give agents the right to enter your home. If they have a warrant of removal, which is Form I-205, they do not have the right to come into your house. It must be a judicial warrant.
- Correct Date – If it is a judicial warrant, does it have the right date of enforcement on it? If the agent is trying to exercise the warrant outside of the approved date, it is invalid and they do not have the right to enter your home.
- Correct Address – Is the address on the warrant correct? Check to make sure that they have your address properly listed or they cannot enter.
- Your Name – Do they have your name, or the name of someone living at the house, listed on the warrant? If so, is it spelled properly? If not, the warrant is not valid.
If you find any errors, politely let the agent know that the information found on the warrant is invalid and that you are not obligated to let them in your home. If the problem was just a clerical mistake, they will likely return with a new warrant later that day or the next day. Make sure you contact an attorney, so you are prepared.
If they Have a Proper Warrant
If you determine that the warrant is valid, your best course of action is to have only the individual listed on the warrant step outside the door. Close the door behind them and immediately contact an attorney. Make sure nobody physically fights with the agents or even talks to them. Just like with any member of law enforcement, you have the right to remain silent and you should absolutely exercise this right. Talking to an ICE agent without an attorney with you will never help your case.
ZafiroLaw Can Help
Your current immigration status does not mean that you are not protected by the laws of this country. If you or a loved one has been taken into custody by an ICE agent, or they will be coming back with a new warrant, a good attorney can help to protect your rights. Contact ZafiroLaw to get the legal representation you need.