Immigration law in the United States changes constantly. This can make it difficult to know who is at risk for deportation.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement are targeting people once considered safe from deportation. They are detaining people at home, at work and even at church.

This can be an intimidating situation, but if ICE targets you for removal, you still have options. Here are a few things you can do:

Before contact

  • Have a plan in place with your family or friends about what happens if ICE arrests you.
  • Decide who you will call, and make sure they know what to do if you ever need to make that call.
  • Keep copies of all your citizenship documents and anything related to your status in an accessible location.
  • Familiarize yourself with your rights under the constitution.
  • Learn about the process ICE uses for detaining people and what to expect.

If ICE approaches you

  • Ask if you are being detained or if you are free to go. If they say you can, leave.
  • Take care not to escalate the situation. Remain calm and make sure you understand what they are alleging.
  • When agents approach your house, they still need a warrant to enter. If they cannot show you a warrant signed by a judge, they cannot legally enter your house.
  • You don’t have to answer any questions. You have the right to remain silent.
  • Do not lie. Lies can be used against you.
  • You have the right to speak with an attorney. Use this right.

Stores of ICE detaining people are frightening. It can feel like a hopeless situation when confronted by these agents.

However, the United States Constitution affords rights to everyone, and it’s important you understand your rights.

If you are ever in a situation involving ICE, stay calm. An experienced immigration attorney can help you explore your options.