What Are My Rights If I Am Stopped or Detained by ICE?

The current policies under the Trump Administration has broadened the federal government’s scope when it comes to deporting certain immigrants. The following immigrant categories are at risk of being stopped or detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE):

  • Anyone who doesn’t have lawful immigration status.
  • Lawful permanent residents, refugees, and visa holders who have criminal convictions.
  • Undocumented individuals who have pending criminal cases and/or prior criminal convictions.
  • People who have been given final orders of removal.
  • Immigrants who have committed fraud or misrepresented themselves on government applications.
  • Non-citizens who are believed to pose a threat to public safety or national security.

ICE agents will usually identify the person they want to arrest ahead of time. They tend to go to homes, courthouses, shelters, and even workplaces to look for the person they are seeking.

What to Do if You Are Approached by ICE

ICE arrest usually happen fast. Agents have been known to call out the name of the person they are looking for and immediately detaining them when they respond and their identity is confirmed. If you are approached by ICE, you should do the following things:

  • Don’t say your name and ask, “Am I free to go?”
  • If the agent’s response is “Yes”, you should say, “I’d rather not speak with you right now.” You should then walk away.
  • If the agent says “No,” remain silent and ask to speak with a lawyer.
  • If they begin to search you, say, “I do not consent to a search.”
  • Don’t lie, present false documents, or attempt to flee the arrest.

Remember, ICE agents will use any information you provide against you. Do not answer questions about your immigration status or where you were born. Don’t give them foreign documents like your passport, consular ID, or expired visa. You are also not required to sign any documents that are presented to you by ICE agents.

Have you or a loved one been stopped or detained by ICE agents? Contact our Cleveland team of immigration attorneys to find out how we can assist you today.