No matter your immigration status, the US Constitution guarantees you specific rights. Here is some more information on your rights as an immigrant.
Table of Contents
If Law Enforcement Asks About Your Immigration Status
According to the lawyers at Tully Rinckey, you can remain silent. The officer can use anything you say against you later. If you’re not a citizen and officials ask for your papers, you must provide them if they are on you. However, you can say no to a search. Agents cannot search you without probable cause or consent.
Avoid frustrating situations by always carrying your papers. If you are asked at a time when you don’t have your documents with you, remain silent and ask to speak to a lawyer.
If You’ve Been Stopped by ICE or the Police
Again, you can remain silent. When you want to invoke that right, express that you will stay quiet. You don’t have to agree to be searched, but police can pat you down if they suspect you are armed.
If the police arrest you, you can receive a lawyer. If ICE detains you, you can talk to a lawyer, but they don’t have to provide one. You may ask about low-cost or free lawyers available. You don’t have to discuss your birth country, citizenship status, or your entry to the US.
If ICE or the Police Are at Your House
You can remain silent if the agents have a warrant to search your house. According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, you don’t have to allow officers into your home if they don’t have a warrant. Additionally, if they present a warrant for your arrest, they are only allowed inside your house if they believe you are inside. They cannot search your home based on an arrest or deportation warrant.
If You Need a Lawyer
If the police arrest you, you should immediately ask for a lawyer. You can make a call when you are detained, which is private if it is to your lawyer. If border patrol or ICE arrests you, you can hire an attorney, but they will not provide one. However, you can ask about low-cost or free lawyers available.
If Border Patrol has detained you
You can remain silent. According to Tully Rinckey lawyers, telling the agents that you’ll only answer questions with a lawyer present is best. You don’t have to discuss your current immigration status. The only exception to this rule is people with permission to live in the US for some time. These individuals must provide information when asked.
Border patrol agents cannot detain anyone unless they reasonably suspect an individual has broken immigration law. They cannot arrest anyone without definite, probable cause. In other words, they must have factual evidence that you broke immigration law. At checkpoints, officers can ask you about your immigration status. Agents can also inspect your car.
If You Are Detained While Your Case Is Underway
Most people detained while their case is underway can be released on a bond or reporting condition. Upon detainment, you have the right to call your lawyer or family and for a lawyer to visit you. You also have the right to have your attorney present at legal hearings.
These were brief outlines of your rights as an immigrant. This includes everyone from those who are now legal citizens to those who are illegally residing in the US. There are only a few exceptions, as outlined above. Speak to a lawyer to learn more about your rights as an immigrant. They can help you understand what you can do about your situation.