In the wake of the executive orders signed by President Trump on January 27, many immigrants are worried about the threat of deportation. Whether they are one of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country or are here as a permanent resident, there may be reason to worry.
Given the current political climate, it is vital for immigrants to be aware of their legal rights, particularly when dealing with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It also is important to understand the laws and know what to do if an ICE agent comes calling.
Current laws allow the federal government to deport individuals without lawful status and those with lawful status who have certain criminal convictions. The Trump Administration plans to focus ICE efforts on individuals:
- With pending criminal cases or prior criminal convictions
- With final orders of removal
- Who have committed fraud or misrepresentation against the government
- Who they believe pose a threat to public safety and national security
If you are at risk of being arrested by ICE, it is important to know what to do – as well as what not to do. Most importantly, do not lie, flee or resist arrest. These actions will only make your situation worse. Additionally, if they do not have a warrant signed by a judge, ICE agents cannot enter your home without permission from an adult. Opening the door when they knock does not give them permission to come in.
Additionally, keep the following in mind in the event of an ICE arrest:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- You have the right to speak to a lawyer.
- You do not have to answer any questions about where you were born, your immigration status or your criminal record.
- You do not have to give them your consular documents or passport without a warrant signed by a judge.
- You do not have to sign anything.