Immigration Series – What to Do If Immigration Comes for You

We continue our immigration series regarding your rights when dealing with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Our first article dealt with developing an emergency plan in case you are detained.

In this second installment of our immigration series, we discuss what you should do if you encounter police or immigration agents while at your house, your place of work, or in public.

What to do if Immigration comes to your house:

If the police, immigration agent, or other government agent tries to enter our house:

  • DO NOT open the door
  • It is very important to ask them if they are the police or immigration. (Sometimes, immigration agents will say they are the police, so ask them very specific questions.)
  • If it is immigration, they are not allowed to enter for any reason unless you open the door or give them permission to enter.
  • Even if you only open the door, but do not explicitly give permission to enter, the agent might say that by opening the door you gave consent to enter.
  • Or if immigration has a criminal warrant.

If it is the police, they need a “Search Warrant” to enter your house.

  • A search warrant is a signed paper by a judge that authorizes the officer to enter your house.
  • The warrant should say in detail who the person is that the officer is looking for.
  • If they have an arrest warrant but NOT a search warrant, they are NOT legally able to enter you house.

If an officer enter you home:

  • Write down the names and badge numbers of the officers.
  • Tell them that you have not given them consent for a search.
  • Take down the names, address, and numbers of anyone who is present.

Do not run it is not safe.


What to do if immigration come to your place of work:

  • Stay calm.
  • Do not run! It is not safe to run.
  • In order to enter your workplace, the officer must have a warrant from a judge or permission from your boss.


What to do if immigration stops you in public:

If they stop you in the street.

  • They must have proper order/warrant to do so; ask to see it.
  • Or they have to have reasonable suspicion that you are not in this country legally.


You have the right to remain silent. Do not say anything about your immigration status or where you were born. If you have valid immigration documents, show them.



This information was provided by the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC). MIRC is a legal resource and advocacy center for Michigan’s immigrants. MIRC works to build thriving Michigan where immigrant communities experience equal justice and are fully integrated and respected. Even though this organization is based in Michigan the information discussed is useful throughout the United States. Visit for more information.


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