What to do and NOT to do if ICE comes looking for you

  • Dec 6 2017

With today’s political climate, immigration issues are a hot topic. Many people who are in the U.S. illegally are concerned about their uncertain future in the United States. In many situations, there is a real possibility that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may show up at your door looking for undocumented immigrants.

What should you do if this terrifying possibility happens to you or a loved one? We have some brief tips that you should know.


  • Remain calm. You have rights!
  • Ask why they are there. Request an interpreter if you need one.
  • Ask if they have a warrant that is signed by a judge if they want to enter.
  • Remain silent, and do not resist if you are arrested.
  • Refuse to let them in if they do not have a warrant. Ask them to leave whatever information you need at the door.
  • Tell everyone in the home to remain silent if they force their way into your home.
  • Take notes of everything that happened, including numbers, number of agents, time, date, and type of car involved.


  • Open the door until you see their warrant signed by the judge.
  • Resist if they force their way into your home.
  • Sign anything until you speak with a lawyer.
  • Give ICE your passport.
  • Lie or be deceitful to ICE. It is better to say nothing at all

Other Tips and Information

You should have a plan for what your family will do if a loved one is arrested. For example, who will pick up children from school? Who will care for children on a regular basis? Think about everything that your loved one does for the family, and make plans for what will happen if he or she is gone. That may include setting up a Power of Attorney so that other family members or friends can take care of minor children, for example.

Be sure that you have all of your important documents in a secure location. Tell a trusted loved one about the location in case someone is arrested. These records often include:

  • Passports
  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • Medical reports

These papers will be necessary for any immigration proceeding that you may go through after the ICE visitation.

You should also memorize phone numbers of loved ones or other resources who will be able to help you if you are in a situation where you need to call for help. With cell phones today, it is much more likely that you do not know numbers of loved ones. Commit them to memory, so you have them if you need them.

It is a good idea to speak with a community advocacy group and an attorney, so you know and understand your rights before ICE shows up at your door. Having someone that will come to the rescue should this type of incident occur will be extremely important. Our team can be that resource. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

Posted in: Immigration Law