Community Education Resources: Immigrant Rights

May 11, 2023 Guides & Reports


Learn about your rights and options in the event of interactions with immigration enforcement, transfers from jail or prison, and deportation orders. If you are a California resident seeking legal advice regarding a removal order, please contact the Asian Law Caucus at 415-896-1701 or using our contact form. If you live outside of California, please refer to the National Immigration Legal Services Directory.

Interactions with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

When may ICE enter my home?

Immigration officers may not enter your home without permission unless they have a “warrant.” A warrant is a document issued by a court, signed by a judge. Generally, ICE claims that a document signed by a deportation officer not a judge is a warrant. This document does not authorize them to enter your home without permission. It is important that everyone in your household knows to not open the door for ICE. ICE can enter your home if anyone gives them permission to enter. They will treat opening the door as permission and push their way in.

What should I do if ICE is at my door?

Do not open the door. Through the door, ask which agency the officers are with. ICE officers often falsely claim to be police. Ask if they have a warrant and for them to slide the warrant under the door. Check to see if the warrant was signed by a judge or deportation officer. If the warrant is signed by a deportation officer, tell the officers that you do not consent to a search. Call your local rapid response hotline.

You can print out cards to inform the ICE officer that they do not have permission to enter and that you do not wish to speak to them. The cards are available in English, Khmer, Hmong, and Vietnamese.

What if ICE is waiting outside my home?

ICE does not need a warrant signed by a judge to arrest you outside of your home. Often, ICE waits down the street until people leave for work to arrest them. If you suspect ICE is waiting outside your home, call your local rapid response hotline.

ICE called or sent a letter asking me to check-in earlier than scheduled. What can I expect?

While ICE sometimes does reschedule check-ins, this may also mean that they are planning to detain you. Call the Asian Law Caucus at 415-896-1701 for legal advice and updates on whether raids are happening elsewhere.

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