Whether you have a valid immigration status or not, you probably feel some apprehension when dealing with officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This makes sense, as ICE officers might have the legal authority to arrest you and try to remove you from the country.
If ICE officers come to your door, it is perfectly normal to worry they might try to handcuff you or someone you love. Therefore, you might wonder whether you have to answer the door. You also might not know whether officers can come inside your home.
Do officers have a search warrant?
According to the U.S. Constitution, you have a fundamental right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. To help protect this right, members of law enforcement typically must obtain a judge-signed search warrant before they can legally enter anyone’s house.
Therefore, if ICE officers come to your home, it is advisable to ask them through the door whether they have a valid search warrant. If they do, ask the officers to slip the warrant under your door. Then, carefully review it to make sure your name, address and other details are correct. If there is an error on the search warrant, it is not valid, and you do not have to honor it.
Do you have to talk to officers?
While it is wise to ask whether officers have a search warrant, you probably want to limit the other conversations you have with them. After all, officers can and will use the things you say against you. Ultimately, by staying quiet and asking to see an attorney, you do what you can to protect yourself from whatever consequences the ICE officers think you deserve.