Immigration Series – During a Raid: What To Do If You Are Questioned by An Officer or Agent

We continue our discussion with Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC), a legal resource and advocacy center for Michigan’s immigrants regarding your rights when dealing with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). We’ve already dealt with developing an emergency plan and what to do if you encounter police or immigration agents while at your house, your place of work, or in public.

Now we move on to what you should do if an officer or agent tries to question you. More often we are hearing of officers coming into workplaces or stopping people on the streets. It is important that you know what to do and what not to do in that instance.


What to do if the police or an immigration agent interrogates you:

You have the right to ask if you are being detained or arrested.

  • If the officer says, “No, you are not under arrest or being detained,” ask him or her if you are free to leave. If he/she say yes, slowly and calmly walk away.
  • If the officer say, “Yes, you are under arrest and/or being detained,” then you have the right to remain silent.

If you have valid documents:

  • Show them to the officer. Always carry them with you.

If you do not have valid documents to be in this country:

  • Do not answer any questions.
  • Do not show false documents.
  • Only say “I need to speak with my attorney.”
  • Do not say anything about where you are from of how you got into the country.



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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