July 12, 2019
New York State Office for New Americans Issues Tips on What to Do If Encountered by ICE/CBP
The tips, available below and in a printable flyer in English and Spanish, ensure immigrants fully understand their legal rights if they are confronted and/or intimidated by ICE/CBP agents. Reports indicate that the Trump Administration is planning raids across the country to arrest undocumented families on Sunday, July 14.
"Immigrants across New York have clearly defined rights – despite what the Trump Administration and other anti-immigrant forces may want them to believe," said Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, who oversees the Office for New Americans and the Liberty Defense Project. "We urge all New Yorkers to know their rights so if they are targeted or intimidated by law enforcement, they know the legal system is there to provide necessary protections."
- Stay calm. Do not run, argue, resist or obstruct the police.
- Ask if you are free to leave. If ICE/CBP answers yes, tell ICE/CBP that you do not want to answer their questions and calmly and silently walk away. If you are under arrest, ask why. You have the right to know the reason for your arrest.
- If ICE/CBP tells you that you are not free to leave, you have the right to remain silent and not answer questions from ICE/CBP. Tell ICE/CBP, "I am using my right to remain silent and I want to speak to a lawyer." Your right to remain silent starts from the moment ICE/CBP confronts you.
- Do NOT consent to a search of your belongings or your pockets. ICE/CBP may "pat down" your clothing if they suspect a weapon. Do NOT physically resist. If ICE/CBP agents begin to search your person, say out loud, "I do not consent to a search."
- Do NOT give false information if you choose to answer questions. Do NOT show any expired or false immigration documents to ICE/CBP.
- You do NOT have to share any information about where you were born, where you live, where you work, where you go to school, any information about your family, what your immigration status is, or your criminal record.
- You have the right to seek legal assistance and may ask to speak to a lawyer instead of answering questions. If you do not have an attorney, call the New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636.
- You have the right to contact your consulate, or to have ICE/CBP inform the consulate if you are being detained.
- You do NOT have to sign anything.
- Make sure that someone you trust knows where you are at all times and that you know how to reach them in case of an emergency (if you have been detained).
- In general, it is a good idea to keep a copy of your important papers (birth certificate, any immigration papers, etc.) at the home of a friend or relative whom you trust and can call in case you are detained.
If ICE/CBP comes to an individual's home:
- If an officer knocks on your door, do NOT open it. Ask the officer through the closed door to show their identification and if they have a warrant.
- If the officer says "yes," to the warrant, still do not open the door but ask the officer to show you the warrant by slipping it under the door.
- A warrant issued by ICE is NOT a valid warrant. Only a warrant signed by a court or judge is valid. When examining the warrant, look for your name, your address, and a signature. A valid warrant will have the name of a court at the top of the page, and a section on the top left-hand corner that says, "United States of America v. (name of person to be arrested)."
- If ICE presents a valid warrant, you should let them into the house. Do NOT provide any false information to ICE. See above.
- If the warrant looks like it was issued by ICE but not a court or judge, you have the right to NOT to let the ICE enter your house. Immediately call your attorney or the New Americans Hotline (1-800-566-7636) to report that ICE is at your door.
If ICE/CBP comes to an individual's place of work:
- Immigration officers are NOT allowed to enter your workplace without the approval of the owner or manager.
- If the owner or manager grants ICE/CBP permission to enter, the officer is free to ask you questions about your immigration status. See above.
Any immigrant that needs free legal assistance is urged to call the New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636. All call information is confidential. Assistance is available in over 200 languages.