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What to Do if You Are Confronted by ICE

Savage law May 9, 2023

Officer Interrogating Suspect or Man with HandcuffsIf you’re an undocumented immigrant living in the United States, you may be anxious about what would happen if you were confronted by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). These feelings are only natural, and while your fears about being arrested by ICE may be less likely than you believe, it’s also important that you know your options when confronted by ICE. Understanding your options allows you to better prepare yourself in the event it does happen to you.  

If you’d like to learn more about immigration and ICE or would like to speak with an immigration attorney about your situation and concerns, call the Savage law for help. Attorney Savage serves those in Providence, Rhode Island, and communities throughout the state, as well as those in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Understanding ICE Procedures  

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a federal agency that addresses illegal immigration and cross-border crime. To do this, they may try to find and confront non-citizens who are in the country illegally with the ultimate goal of deporting them. However, they must follow a set of rules about how and when they can do this. Understanding ICE procedures can help you be prepared should you have an encounter with them. 

ICE officials may conduct a workplace raid to arrest non-citizens, but they can also approach you if you’re out in public. There are several places, however, that they’re not supposed to conduct business such as schools, churches or other places of worship, hospitals, or funerals and weddings. 

What to Do if ICE Approaches You 

If ICE officials confront you, you may have a few options to protect yourself, but your actions will be dependent on where you are.  

  • At home: ICE is not supposed to enter your home to make an arrest without a warrant or without your permission to enter. Because of this, you should never speak with an ICE official who comes to your home nor invite them in. Do not even open your door. They may pose as regular police officers, but you are not obligated to go with them unless they can produce a warrant. You can ask to see identification from behind the door and ask them to slide their warrant under the door to you. You should also be careful about leaving your home because once you’re outside, they may be able to apprehend you.  

  • In public: As stated above, there are a number of public places that ICE is prohibited from entering to make arrests. These are referred to as “sensitive locations” and in general you will be safe here. However, once you leave these locations, they are permitted to arrest you.  

If You Are Arrested   

If you are confronted by an official, you should also know your options after being arrested by ICE and your next steps. 

  1. Do not physically resist the arrest. Comply with the basic commands of the arresting officer. 

  1. Try to document everything you can, such as photos, videos, or written names and badge numbers of the officers. If you’re unable to do this, ask someone nearby to. 

  1. Don’t lie to them, but you also do not have to answer their questions. Even as an undocumented resident, you have the right to remain silent.  

  1. Don’t sign any documents (especially any that you don’t understand) before you’re able to meet with a lawyer. 

  1. Have a friend or family member contact a lawyer as soon as possible.  

Strong & Reliable Legal Representation   

If you live in Providence, Rhode Island or any of the communities throughout the state and need immigration help, reach out to the Savage Law for trusted legal guidance.