Know your rights around Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

What to do if you are stopped by an ICE agent in public or at your home.

If an ICE agent stops you on the street

Keep calm. Always ask the officer, “Am I free to go?” If the answer is “yes,” walk away.

If the answer is “no:”

  • Do not walk away
  • Do not answer any questions 
  • Ask for a lawyer
  • Do not talk about your immigration status
  • Do not talk about when and how you came to the United States

If an officer searches you, say, “I do not consent to this search.”

If an ICE agent comes to your home

Do not open the door. Ask the officer to slip a valid search warrant under your door. If they don’t have a valid search warrant, they cannot enter your home. 

A valid search warrant will be:

  • Signed by a judge or magistrate (not an immigration official)
  • Show the address to be searched
  • State in detail where the agent will search

If an ICE agent comes to your home with a warrant for removal/deportation

A search warrant is not the same as a warrant for removal/deportation. 

You do not have to let them into your home if they only have a warrant for removal/deportation.

If you are arrested by an ICE agent

You have a right to an attorney. Ask to speak to a lawyer. 

You have a right to remain silent. Do not answer questions. 

Do not sign anything without a lawyer. 

Do not lie or show fake documents. 

Do not talk about your immigration status. Do not talk about when and how you came to the United States.

Get legal help

Visit the Immigrant Support Hub to get legal help if you are detained or about to be deported.

If you see an ICE agent in San Francisco

Last updated December 19, 2019