Learn how to protect you and your family during immigration raids
If you are questioned by the Police
You have the right to ask the officer if you are being arrested or detained.
- If the officer says, “NO, you are not being arrested or detained,” ask the officer if you may leave. When the officer says that you may leave, slowly and calmly walk away.
- If the officer says, “YES, you are being arrested or detained”…
You have the right to remain silent!
If you are undocumented…
Do not answer any questions or say only “I need to speak to my lawyer.”
If you have a valid immigration status documents, show it. Always carry it with you.
Do not say anything about where you were born or how you entered the United States.
Do not carry papers from another country. (If you do, the government can use this information in a deportation proceeding).
Show them the Know Your Rights Card attached.
Above all, do not show any false documents and do not lie!
In some states, it is a minor crime not to provide your name when asked by a police officer. While punishment for these crimes is minor, you still could be arrested for not providing your name. Remember that providing your name has risks, and that your name can be used to start a deportation process.
If immigration comes to your home …
If Police or Immigration comes to your home:
You have the right to see a warrant if the Police Department, FBI, Immigration or other government official tries to enter your home. A warrant is a paper signed by a judge giving the officer to enter permission your home. The warrant will specify the areas that the official has the right to search.
Do not open the door. Ask the officer to slip the warrant underneath the door. If you open the door and allow the official to come into the house, this may be considered giving him/her “consent” to enter. If s/he enters without a warrant, request the names and badge numbers of the officers and say that you did not “consent” to a search. Also, write down the names, addresses and phone numbers of anyone who witnessed the incident.
If the officer has a warrant, observe whether the official searches any other areas that are not listed in the warrant. Get a receipt for any property taken by the official.
If Police or Immigration comes to your workplace:
Immigration must have a warrant signed by a judge or the employer’s permission to enter your workplace. If it is a public place, they do not need a warrant.
Stay calm. Do not run. This may be viewed as an admission that you have something to hide.
If Police or Immigration stops you on the street or in a public place:
If the police or an immigration officer stops you on the street and does not have a warrant, s/he may not arrest you unless s/he has evidence that you are a non-citizen. Remember you have the right to remain silent and to refuse a search. Do not say anything about your immigration status or where you were born. Also, do not carry with you any documents from your country of origin or false documents. If you have valid immigration status documents, show them.
If you are arrested your should…
1. Find out who has arrested you
Write down the name of the officers and their agency (Police Dept., FBI, Immigration, County Sheriff), along with their identification numbers and license plate numbers. You can find this information on their uniform or their cars.
2.Don’t sign any documents before speaking with a lawyer
You always have the right to speak with a lawyer. Government officials may try to intimidate you or trick you into signing. Don’t let yourself be tricked! You may be signing away your right to a hearing before an immigration judge.
3. Contact your attorney or a family member
You have the right to make a telephone call after you are arrested. Memorize the telephone number of your attorney, family member, friend or union spokesperson, and contact him/her immediately.
4. Contact your consulate
If you are a foreign national arrested in the U.S., you have the right to call your consulate or to have the deportation officer inform the consulate of your arrest. Ask the deportation officer to see a list of embassies and write down the phone number. The consul may assist you in finding a lawyer or offer to contact your family.
5. Ask for bond
Once you are in immigration custody, ask for bond
(even if immigration says you are not eligible). You have to show that you are not a flight risk or a danger to the community. Also, get a copy of the “Notice to Appear,” a document that contains the immigration charges against you.
If you are accused of a crime…
Ask your attorney to help you get released from police custody
If you are arrested by local police, they must charge you with a crime in court within 48 hours (not counting weekends and holidays), or else release you. If police do file criminal charges, then you must still be released if (1) the charges are dropped, (2) you are granted and post bail, (3) you win your criminal case, or (4) you complete your sentence.
The police may contact Immigration to learn more about your immigration status. For example, if you have an outstanding deportation order, the police may inform Immigration that you are in police custody.
Immigration may then place a “detainer” on you, which gives Immigration an additional 48 hours to pick you up. If Immigration fails to pick you up within this time, the police must release you.
If the police don’t file criminal charges AND if immigration does not file a detainer, call an attorney or community organization to help you get released from police custody. They can write a demand letter to the jail or the sheriff.
What should you do if you have been accussed of a crime?
Consult with an immigration attorney to make sure that the crime will not affect your immigration status. If you want to apply for citizenship or a permanent residency card (green card), talk to your lawyer.
What should you do if you are facing deportation and you need an attorney?
Find an attorney who specializes in deportation defense. Always keep with you the complete name and contact information of your attorney. Request a written contract from your attorney before paying him/her. Make sure your attorney looks at the NTA (Notice to Appear) or your immigration papers before making promises. Don’t be tricked by people who are only a