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We have all heard reports of immigration raids being carried out by ICE and other immigration agents in recent weeks. While ICE agents do have authority to take certain actions to enforce immigration laws, any person present in the United States has constitutional rights which cannot be violated by immigration agents, regardless of whether that person is a citizen, permanent resident, visa holder, or undocumented immigrant. Knowing what those rights are and asserting those rights to ICE agents can be critical to defending the well-being of you and your family. In all cases threatening your residency or rights, you should speak with an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible to receive the guidance you need.
Under the protections of the Fourth Amendment, you cannot be detained by police or ICE without reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime. Thus, an ICE agent must have “specific and articulable facts” which leads him to think a person is here illegally before detaining you, and your racial identity or nationality is not sufficient for proving reasonable suspicion. If you are stopped by an ICE agent, ask if you are free to leave. If the answer is “yes,” then you should do so. If the answer is “no,” then you should exercise your right to remain silent and to speak with an attorney.
You have the right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment. If you are asked by police or ICE agents about any matter relating to you or another person, you can simply state, “I am exercising my right to remain silent.”
Along with the right to remain silent, you have the right to an attorney anytime you are being questioned by government agents. If you tell the government agent, “I am exercising my right to be assisted by counsel,” all questioning must cease. Repeat this statement if questioning continues.
Recent news stories have talked about ICE agents coming to people’s homes with an ICE warrant. Such a warrant does not give agents permission to enter your home. Government agents can only enter your home if they have a search warrant signed by a judge. Before opening the door and/or allowing agents in, demand to see a search warrant signed by a judge. If they do indeed have a search warrant, it must be signed by a judge, include your address, as well as the area to be searched and the names of anyone targeted by the search.
If the agents do not have a warrant, you should say, “I do not consent to your entry.” They may pressure you, but you are well within your rights to continue to refuse to provide consent. If they come in anyway, do not resist, but continue to assert your right to remain silent, your request for an attorney, and your right to withhold consent from them entering.
Again, should ICE agents come to your home, you should contact an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.
The immigration and criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Scott Warmuth vigorously defend the rights of men and women across Southern California who face legal challenges related to their immigration status. Our multilingual staff and legal team will do everything we can to defend your freedom and your family’s way of life. To get more information on how we can assist in you all immigration and criminal matters, speak to an attorney at the Law Offices of Scott Warmuth today by calling 888-517-9888.