Many immigrants are worried that ICE officials will show up at their door, but ICE agents can stop a person in public, as well. If that happens to you, you still have certain constitutional rights that those officials must uphold. Many individuals are not aware of these rights and so, when approached by agents, they say or do something that can have grave consequences for their future. If ICE officials ever stop you in public, below are the following steps you should take.
You are under no obligation to talk to ICE agents or to answer any of their questions. You can ask the officers if you can leave and if they say no, you should show them a know-your-rights card. This will explain that you are exercising your right to remain silent. Even with the card, you should also verbally state that you are going to stay silent.
You do not have to tell ICE agents which country you were born in, or how you came into the country. You are also under no obligation to show them any documents stating your country of origin. It is important that you do not present any false documentation, and that you are not dishonest with officials.
Even if immigration officers tell you they have a right to search you, they do not. They may pat you down if they suspect you have a weapon, but they cannot extend their search beyond that. If ICE agents ask to search you or any of your belongings, you should refuse.
If you are detained by ICE agents, you have the right to speak to an attorney. Telling immigration officials that you would like an attorney should be one of the few things you say to them. If you already have an immigration lawyer, tell ICE agents this. If you do not have a lawyer, you can ask an agent to provide you with some lawyers’ names.
If you are going to sign anything, make sure you fully understand what the documents says and its implications. That being said, it is best to never sign any documentation until you have spoken with an attorney, and they have had a chance to review it and advise you on whether you should sign it.
It is important that all immigrants understand that they have rights under the U.S. Constitution, and that they exercise those rights when approached by immigration officials. If you have been approached by ICE agents, or have any questions about immigration laws, call our Chicago immigration lawyers today.
At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC, we have the experience necessary to navigate the complicated immigration system and can help you with whatever issue you have. If you need assistance with your immigration status, call us today to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our attorneys.
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