Guide for Immigrants Arrested by ICE

Posted on April 8, 2016 by Catholic Charities Admin  |  Share

What Rights Does an Immigrant Have?

First know that information about arrests or enforcement actions by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that is communicated by the Department of Homeland Security is subject to change.

C. Mario Russell is Catholic Charities Senior Attorney and Director of Immigrant and Refugee Services. He also teaches immigration law at St. John’s University School of Law and is a regular contributor on immigration news for “El Diario” newspaper.

1.    People seeking news about the application and enforcement actions by ICE can call the Hotline for New Americans to 1-800-566-7636. This line is open from 9 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday, and can respond to calls made on up to 200 languages. All calls are anonymous and confidential and the line provides referrals and recommendations to providers of legal services throughout the State of New York.

2.    Compliance with government actions announced recently are limited to adults and their children who:

  • Crossed the border illegally after May 1, 2014
  • For those who have been issued final orders of deportation by an immigration judge; and
  • Not have appealed the deportation order or tried to reopen his case 

3.    Those with a final order of deportation should seek legal advice from a reliable and experienced immigration attorney because the final orders may be opened again, and deportations may be suspended (stopped) in certain circumstances. To determine if someone has a final order of deportation, call the Information line for the State's case at 1-800-898-7180. To get help from immigration legal service providers, contact the Hotline for new Americans to 1-800-566-7636
4.    ICE  Agents have to follow certain protocols when they carry out actions. For example, with very limited exceptions, agents cannot carry out arrests in "sensitive places" like schools, churches, hospitals, places of worship, or at the site of a funeral, wedding, or other public religious ceremony.
5.    Most important: Immigrant rights in the event of an arrest

  •  If agents of ICE arrive at your home, no one should open the door unless such agents present a warrant signed by a judge. 
  • The ICE agent can pass the order under the door. 
  • If the agents do not have a warrant signed by a judge, the only way that they can gain access to your home is to ask for permission to do so in Spanish and you grant them access to your home.   
  • Anything you say to an ICE officer can be used against you during the immigration process. The person who is being interrogated can politely say that they will not answer questions. 

For a step-by-step guide on what to do, people should call the United We Dream Hotline at 1-844-363-1423

Want to read this in Spanish? Find this Step-by-Step Guide for Immigrants Arrested in El Diario.

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