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Know Your Rights
Source: Make the Road New York
Subject: Legal Services
Type: Pubs & Reports

ICE Raids in New York: Get Informed and Know Your Rights!

WHO IS AT RISK? ICE is currently targeting specific groups of immigrants. You may be at risk if:

You are either undocumented or a lawful permanent resident and have been convicted of certain criminal offenses, such as DUI (“driving under the influence”), drug crimes, domestic violence, unlawful gun possession, or child endangerment. Even an old conviction, a misdemeanor, or an offense for which you spent no time in jail, may put you at risk.


You entered the United States after January 1, 2014 and IF:

  • you lost your case in immigration court or
  • you agreed to voluntarily return to your home country or
  • you were not found to have “credible or reasonable fear” or
  • you did not go to court for a hearing and were ordered deported

Note: If you currently have an open case and have been going to your court dates, you should not be at risk.


  • Before you say your name, ask, “AM I FREE TO GO?”
    • If YES: Say, “I don’t want to answer your questions.” Walk away.
    • If NO: You have the right to remain silent! Say, “I don’t want to answer questions” and “I want to speak to a lawyer.”
  • If ICE starts to search inside your pockets or belongings, say, “I do not consent to a search.”
  • Do NOT lie or show false documents. Don’t flee or resist arrest. Don’t answer questions about your immigration status or where you were born. Do not hand over any foreign documents.


You Don’t Have to Open Your Door if ICE does not have a warrant signed by a judge!

  • Ask officers for ID and where they work to see if they are ICE agents.
  • Ask them to show you a warrant by slipping it under the door.  If they don’t have a warrant signed by a judge, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CONSENT to entry.
  • If they have a warrant, look to see if your name is on it AND if it is signed by a judge.
  • Don’t lie to them, but you can politely say that you don’t want to answer any questions.
  • You do not need to help them locate a family member, politely refuse to answer questions.

If ICE Enters Your Home Without a Warrant:

  • Tell them if there are children, elderly or sick people in your home.
  • Tell them “I do not consent to you being in my home. Please leave.”
  • If they search rooms or items, say, “I do not consent to your search.”

If ICE Arrests You:

  • You have the right to remain silent, but if you choose to speak do not lie as this can hurt you
  • You do NOT have to share information about where you were born or your immigration status
  • You do NOT have to give them your passport or other documents
  • Do not sign anything!  Ask to speak with a lawyer instead of answering questions

If You Believe You Are at Risk: Have a Safety Plan in place and speak to an attorney as soon as possible.  If you are arrested and have fear of returning to your home country, clearly express this fear to ICE.  

Report the Raid: If this happened in New York City, contact the Immigrant Defense Project at (212) 725- 6422 and your local Make the Road New York organizer:

Thank you to the Immigrant Defense Project for providing legal information. For more on ICE community arrests, please see IDP’s longer booklet at