It can be scary to be arrested. Even more so if you are an immigrant to this country. We asked the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC), a legal resource and advocacy center for Michigan’s immigrants what an immigrant should do if they are arrested.
If you are arrested
Find out who arrested you.
- Write down the names of the officers and their organizations (FBI, ICE, CBP, etc.)
- Write down badge numbers (on uniform) and vehicle license plate numbers.
Do not sign any documents you do not understand before speaking with an attorney.
- It’s possible that the agents will try to pressure you to sign something.
- Do not let them pressure you. They could be trying to get you to sign something that renounces your right to appear before an immigration judge.
Contact your lawyer or a family member.
- You have the right to call someone after your arrest.
- Memorize the number of your lawyer, family member, or union representative.
- Contact them immediately.
Contact your consulate.
- You have the right to contact the consulate of your native country to request assistance.
- You have the right to tell the agent to inform the consulate of your arrest.
- The consulate can help you find an attorney.
- The consulate may also offer to contact your family.
Apply for bail.
- Apply for bail while in immigration custody, even if the agent says it is not suitable.
- You must be able to show that you are not going to flee and are not a danger to the community.
DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND BEFORE CONSULTING WITH A LAWYER!
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 michiganimmigrant.org for more information.