Everyone, including undocumented immigrants, living in the U.S. has certain basic rights under the Constitution. If you find you have to deal with Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) or other law enforcement officers at home, on the street, or anywhere else, it is important that we all know and practice our basic rights.
In late January 2017, NAKASEC & Affiliates launched an Immigration Rapid Response Plan to address the needs, concerns and emergencies of immigrant community members and their families. The Immigration Rapid Response Plan includes:
- Operation of a bilingual (Korean/English) hotline
- Wide distribution of bilingual and culturally competent Know Your Rights Information
- Access to a network of pro-bono attorneys and mental health providers
- YouTube webisodes with Know Your Rights information and policy updates
- Downloadable Know Your Rights Phone app
Have you been detained by immigration or otherwise face an emergency? Call NAKASEC’s hotline to get support: 1-844-500-3222
1 Remain Silent
You have the right to remain silent. You may refuse to speak to immigration officers.
- Don’t answer any questions. You may also say that you want to remain silent.
- Don’t say anything about where you were born or how you entered the U.S.
- Do not run from Immigration Officers. Try to stay calm and remember your right to remain silent.
If you are worried ICE will arrest you, let the officer know if you have children, a health condition or anything else that would cause you or your family to suffer if you are taken into custody.
- If you are the parent or primary caregiver of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is under age 18, ICE may “exercise discretion” and let you go.
- If you have a health condition that must be treated if you are taken into custody, tell ICE and demand medical treatment.
2 Right to an attorney
You have the right to speak to a lawyer
- You can simply say, “I need to speak to my attorney.”
- You may have your lawyer with you if ICE or other law enforcement questions you.
Do not sign anything that ICE gives you without talking to an attorney.
- ICE may try to get you to sign away your right to see a lawyer or a judge. Do not sign anything ICE gives you without consulting with an attorney.
3 Do not open your door
To be allowed to enter your home, ICE must have a warrant. Ask ICE to slide a warrant under the door. (They almost never have one.)
- Make sure the warrant is signed by a judge.
- Verify that the warrant has your correct name and address on it.
- If the warrant is an ICE administrative warrant (it will say form I-200 or I-205), ICE does not have the right to enter your home without your consent.
- Carry out any conversations with the door remaining closed.
4 In the streets
Remain calm and collected during an encounter with ICE.
- Sometimes ICE officers lie to people in order to get them to open their doors or sign away their rights, so remain alert and calm throughout the encounter with ICE.
- Be aware that sometimes ICE officers will not wear vests that say ICE. They could be wearing plain clothes.
Always carry with you any valid immigration document you have.
- For example, if you have a valid work permit or green card, be sure to have it with you in case you need to show it for identification purposes.
- Do not carry papers from another country with you, such as a foreign passport. Such papers could be used against you in the deportation process.
5 Create a safety plan
- Memorize the phone number of a friend, family member, or attorney that you can call if you are arrested.
- Give NAKASEC’s hotline number to a family member, friend or attorney so we can support you if you are detained: 1-844-500-3222.
- If you take care of children or other people, make a plan to have them taken care of if you are detained.
- Keep important documents such as birth certificates and immigration documents in a safe place where a friend or family member can access them if necessary.
- Make sure your loved ones know how to find you if you are detained by ICE. They can use ICE’s online detainee locator to find an adult in immigration custody. Or they can call the local ICE office. Make sure they have your alien registration number written down, if you have one. If your family member calls the NAKASEC hotline, we also can assist with locating your family member.
- You can call the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) hotline at 240-314-1500 or 1-800-898-7180 (toll-free) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get information on your case’s status.
6 Report and document raids and arrests
- If it is possible and safe for you to do so, take photos and videos of the raid or arrest, unless you are on federal government property. Take notes of badge numbers, number of agents, time, type of car, and exactly what happened.
- Call NAKASEC’s hotline to report a raid: 1-844-500-3222.
7 Download and Print
You can get these for free at our offices in Annandale, Chicago or Los Angeles, or print them using the below files.
Print a Know Your Rights Card and carry it with you to show it if an immigration officer stops you. The card explains that you will remain silent and that you wish to speak with an attorney.
Print a brochure detailing your rights and how to exercise them when facing an emergency situation. Everyone, including undocumented immigrants, living in the U.S. has certain basic rights under the Constitution.
8 Smartphone App
Download our Know Your Rights app for Android smartphones!
This is the first ever popular education app for U.S. immigrants in crisis situations that provides practical tips when being detained or subject to raids or home searches. Search “Know Your Rights KRC” in the Play Store.
Apple has refused to list our app, stating that the app is too simple for Apple Store's standards. It is therefore only available on Android.
- This information (from NAKASEC)
- AILA: 2019 Large-Scale Enforcement Actions and Raids
- AILA: Map of enforcement actions
- AILA: Know Your Rights Handouts: If ICE Visits a Home, Employer, or Public Space
- ACLU: Know Your Rights - Immigrants' Rights
- ACLU: We Have Rights
- Brooklyn Defender Services: We Have Rights - What To Do When Interacting with ICE
- Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition: Lessons from East Tennessee - A Toolkit for Organizations Responding to Mass Worksite Raids
- Women Refugee Commission: Parental Rights Toolkit
- United We Dream: Know Your Power!
- ACLU: FAQ on Sanctuary Congregations
- CLASP: A Guide to Creating "Safe Space" Policies for Early Childhood Programs
- CLINIC: Know Your Rights
10 Other materials
For possible future reference when adding information