Immigration Detention

Immigration Detention

What If Immigration And Customs Enforcement Comes To My Home?

Immigration Detention2023-07-08T00:59:57+00:00

Consequences Of Immigration Detention

The criminal defense of immigrant clients requires an understanding that it is very likely that an immigrant defendant may encounter a chance of being detained in an immigration detention facility. Often times once in detention you have little to no contact with those outside of the detention facility let alone your family and friends. Immigration detention can be just as bad if not worse than being jailed in a county jail or state prison. This is an ironic comparison since many of the detained clients are not even accused of a crime let alone have criminal convictions. Unfortunately, immigration detention is a reality that noncitizens in the United States may have to one day face if they are detained on an immigration-related violation.

Once in removal proceedings, a noncitizen may be transferred to any over 200 immigration detention facilities across the country.

Many criminal offenses trigger mandatory detention where bonds may not be available. In immigration proceedings, there is no court-appointed right to counsel and as a result, the majority of detained immigrants go unrepresented. Immigration judges often lack the power to consider where the person should remain in the United States in light of equitable factors such as serious hardship to United States citizen family members, length of time living in the United States, or rehabilitation. Because an immigration removal proceeding in Immigration Court is not a criminal action and is considered a civil court action, one is not entitled to appointed counsel for representation. Because of this rule, if you find yourself in removal proceedings and are detained by immigration authorities it is very important to engage in competent counsel to avoid any sort of potential adverse immigration consequences to stop the removal process. 


The current presidential administration has made it clear that it will specifically target undocumented immigrants.

The current presidential administration has made it clear that it will specifically target undocumented immigrants.

As a result, it is more than likely that many immigrants will be detained and arrested by ICE as a result of collateral contact in the community. In response to California’s sanctuary city policies, ICE has made it clear that it will conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests. ICE will also likely have to detain individuals arrested in California in detention facilities outside of the state, far from any family they may have in California.

What if ICE knocks on my door? Do Not Open The Door.

Instead, Tell Them Through The Door;

“I do not wish to speak with you, answer your questions, or sign or hand you any documents based on my 5th Amendment rights under the United States Constitution.

I do not give you permission to enter my home based on my 4th Amendment rights under the United States Constitution unless you have a warrant to enter, signed by a judge or magistrate with my name on it that you slide under the door.

I do not give you permission to search any of my belongings based on my 4th Amendment rights.

I choose to exercise my constitutional rights. “

Work Place Raids

ICE strongly prosecutes employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrant workers, in addition to deporting those workers. ICE has already stepped up workplace enforcement and is predicted to increase four to five times. It has been reported that ICE has taken a stance to increase worksite enforcementwith an increased number of inspections and worksite operations. This aggressive stance by ICE will undoubtedly cause more collateral detentions.

What Is ICE?

What Is ICE?

Immigration and Customs Enforcement known as ICE is the enforcement arm of the United States Immigration Services. ICE is charged with enforcing federal law, governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration. ICE’s mission is to identify, arrest, and remove criminal aliens who present a danger to national security or are a risk to public safety, as well as to those that enter the United States illegally or otherwise undermine the integrity of the immigration laws. ICE makes a determination on who poses a risk based on whether an immigrant has been arrested or convicted of a crime in State and Federal Courts. The Enforcement and Removal Operations upholds the United States’s immigration laws through enforcement and removal operations. The enforcement and removal branch enforces the nation’s immigration laws. Unfortunately, the manner in which this is carried out causes grief in the community since upon detention of a member of the community families become torn apart. It is for this reason that many communities have sought to restrict the movement of ICE in their neighborhoods.

Who is removable by ICE?2023-04-04T18:31:26+00:00

ICE cannot try to remove someone until they find a person whom they want to try to deport. ICE often works to locate individuals to detain based upon many stereotypical factors such as appearance or language spoken by the individual. ICE agents routinely stop and ask individuals for proof that they were not born in the United States or do not have lawful immigration status. Often these types of stops are unlawful since they are based on prejudicial factors and not based on probable cause. Frequently these stops happen at the border or even in the interior at public places such as courthouses, public transportation stations, traffic stops, and homes and workplaces. Unfortunately, ICE has been using these stereotypical factors farther and farther away from border areas. It is important to know your rights when confronted by ICE agents so as to not only preserve your rights before an immigration judge but to also protect yourself from being accosted by ICE agents while out in public.

Do Immigrants Have Rights?2023-04-04T18:30:35+00:00

The answer is yes, regardless of your immigration status all people in the United States are protected by the rights bestowed by the Constitution of the United States. The fact is that all people in the United States, regardless of immigration status, have certain rights and protections under the U.S. Constitution. If ICE agents arrive at one’s home these rights can be evoked to protect you and your family. Clearly, it is important to assert your rights confronted by ICE agents regardless if you are the target or a fellow member of your community. It is important to exercise these rights to protect your interests in later court proceedings.

What Not to Do When ICE Shows Up At Your Door?2023-04-04T18:30:05+00:00

If ICE agents do appear at your door it is important to understand that they are there to detain who they are looking for to place him or her in immigration removal proceedings. It is important to recognize this since a ruse often used by Immigration Agents is to pose as local law enforcement. If you do come into contact with ICE agents, do not lie or show false documents. And importantly do not sign any papers without speaking to a qualified immigration lawyer. The best advice is probably to not answer the door.

What to Do If ICE Agents Force Their Way In?2023-04-04T18:29:18+00:00

It is important to understand that in a situation like this, everyone in the residence should exercise his or her right to remain silent. The best advice is to not attempt to resist. If you wish to exercise your rights, simply state: “I do not consent to your entry or to your search of these premises. I am exercising my right to remain silent. I wish to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.”  You or whomever the agents are looking for will likely be taken into custody and once in custody, the detained individual may be eligible to be released on bond. If this unfortunate scenario were to occur then

When may ICE enter my home?2023-04-04T18:28:43+00:00

Immigration officers may NOT enter your home unless they have a warrant.  A warrant is a document issued by a court or government agency.  There are two types of warrant — An arrest Warrant, one for when they are coming to arrest you, and another – Search Warrant- for when they have permission from a judge to search your home. If you are served with a warrant it is important to review the document that has been handed to you by ICE agents and review the document to ensure that it is in fact a warrant as described. It is important to do this since a ruse used by ICE Agents is to present a warrant issued by ICE itself.

ICE Can Issue Arrest Warrants, But Only A Court Can Issue A Search Warrant.

If an officer knocks on your door, do not open it. Ask the officer through the closed door to identify himself.  You can say, “Who are you with?” or “What agency are you with?” The officer might say that he is with “The Department of Homeland Security” or “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”  The officer might name another agency.  No matter what, keep the door closed.  Through the closed door, ask the officer if he has a warrant.

 If he says “yes,” still do not open the door.  Ask him to show you the warrant by slipping it under the door.

Is the Warrant Valid?2023-04-04T18:27:26+00:00

When examining the warrant, look for your name, your address, and a signature. This can help you decide whether or not the warrant is valid (true). The warrant will be in English. If you have trouble reading it or understanding it, get someone else in your house to help you read it or translate it, if possible.

If the warrant does not look valid, you should return it under the door and say it is incorrect.
If the warrant the officer shows you looks valid, look to see if it was issued by a court or by ICE.

If a valid warrant was issued by a court and authorized a search of your house, you should let the officer in the house.

Is The Warrant Issued by A Court?2023-04-04T18:26:24+00:00

If the valid warrant looks like it was issued by ICE but not a court, you have the right not to let the officer enter your house. If the warrant authorizes your arrest but not a search of your house, you may want to go outside to meet the officers but not let them in the house. This is especially important if you live with other people who might have immigration problems, because once you allow the officer into your house, he can ask questions of anyone else who is there, too. If you do talk to the officer (again, outside your house — do not let him in), do not answer any questions. Do not sign any papers. Tell the officer you want to talk to a lawyer before you say anything. Do not provide any kind of identification documents that say what country you are from. Make sure not to carry any false documents with you at any time.

Do Not Consent to an Officer Entering Your Home

Another way an immigration officer can enter your home legally (besides if he has a valid warrant) is if you give the officer permission to enter. This is called giving the officer your “consent” to enter your home. If you open your door, or if the officer asks if he can come in and you say “yes,” you are probably consenting to his entering your home. The best thing to do is to keep the door closed and ask the officer to identify himself. Then ask to see a warrant. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR IF HE CANNOT SHOW YOU A WARRANT. An officer is NOT ALLOWED to force you to consent to his entering your home.

How can I protect myself if Immigration comes to my house?2023-04-04T18:25:37+00:00

If you hear that Immigration has been asking questions about you at your job or if you learn that Immigration is conducting an investigation at your job, it is possible that officers may show up at your house. Make sure that someone you trust knows where you are, and that you know how to reach them in case of an emergency.

What should I do if Immigration comes to my workplace?2023-04-04T18:25:02+00:00

Immigration officers are not allowed to enter your workplace — whether it is a factory, store, high rise, farm, or orchard — without permission from the owner or manager. If an officer does get permission, the officer is free to ask you questions about your immigration status. You have a right to keep silent. In most states, you don’t even have to tell the agent your name. Although you may want to provide your name only so your family or attorney can locate you.

Do you have the right to talk to a lawyer before you answer any questions?2023-04-04T18:23:45+00:00

You can tell the officer, “I wish to talk to a lawyer,” in response to any question the officer asks you. You do not need tell the immigration officer where you were born or what your immigration status is. You do not have to show the officer your papers or any immigration documents. If the officer asks you for your papers, tell the officer, “I wish to talk to a lawyer.” What can my union do? If you belong to a labor union, there are ways it can help you. You should talk to your union representative about your concerns. If it would make you feel more comfortable, ask some of your co-workers to go with you to talk to your representative.

The legal process can seem very complicated, and if you’re under pressure it can also be overwhelming. Please reach out to us for more answers to your questions.

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