It is natural to feel some level of apprehension when dealing with officers from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The authority they hold, especially over the lives of immigrants, is often hard to deal with.
It is important to understand your rights when ICE agents come to your door. What can they do, and what can you do to protect yourself and your loved ones?
Obtaining a search warrant
The U.S. Constitution protects a person’s fundamental right to freedom from any unreasonable search or seizure. In order to ensure that these rights get their proper protection, most officers in almost every situation must have a signed, court-ordered search warrant before entering a person’s private premises.
Thus, it is generally a good idea to speak to officers through the door first. Ask if they have a search warrant. They can slip it under the door or through the mail slot, if so. Next, make sure to check all of the details, including your name, address and so on. If anything is incorrect, the warrant is not valid.
Knowing when to talk to officers
Ultimately, keeping as quiet as possible when interacting with officers is usually the best possible choice. Officers can use anything that you say against you in a court of law after establishing your Miranda rights.
The Constitution also applies to anyone on American soil, regardless of citizenship status. This means that immigrants of all kinds can have the protection provided by Miranda rights, and should utilize it thusly.