Immigration lawyer in Alexandria, Virginia discusses an immigrant’s rights when agents show up at their house.
Alexandria, VA- There are millions of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., and some may one day have immigration agents knocking on their door. Even if they are undocumented, immigrants have rights. In this article, USAttorneys will discuss the rights of immigrants and what they should do if immigration agents knock on your door.
Immigrants have rights
Being undocumented doesn’t deprive an immigrant of basic rights, just like being convicted of a crime as a U.S. citizen doesn’t eliminate a person’s essential constitutional rights. Many of those same rights are granted to anyone in the U.S. or an American citizen.
One of those rights is the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Fourth Amendment forbids law enforcement from searching a person’s home or property without permission or without first getting a warrant.
Many, but not all, undocumented immigrants have the right to challenge an order of removal, so it’s important you understand your rights. Otherwise, you could spend years in detention waiting for your case to be decided. If you live in Alexandria and receive and order of removal, we recommend you speak with an immigration lawyer. They can explore the options you have so that you can avoid deportation and inform you of what comes next if there are no other options to explore.
What to do if immigration agents come to your home?
If ICE comes to your door, what you do next could mean the difference between detention and freedom. Below we will discuss what you should and shouldn’t do when ICE shows according to the recommendations of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Don’t open the door. You are not legally required to open the door and should speak to agents through the door.
Ask agents why they are there.
You don’t have to let agents in your house unless they have a warrant. You can ask them to produce a warrant signed by a judge before you will allow them.
The ACLU cautions immigrants not to be fooled by an administrative warrant for an order of removal since it’s different than a warrant issued by a judge. To be granted a search warrant for your premises, immigration agents must demonstrate that they have probable cause for the search.
You have the right to record your interactions with immigrations. You can use your phone or another recording device to keep a record of your conversation which may give your attorney insight into your case.
If agents do manage to get inside your home, you and everyone present have the right to remain silent. It’s always advisable to say as little to agents or law enforcement until you get the advice of a lawyer.
And, don’t show agents any documents until you get legal advice.
What can agents do?
While agents aren’t allowed to enter your home, they can approach you and detain you once you leave your house, even if you’re just walking to your car or mailbox. If you are outside of your house in a public area, agents can detain you and arrest you if they suspect you are undocumented.
We recommend all immigrants enter the country through the proper legal channels, but we also understand there are many reasons why immigrants don’t enter lawfully or overstay our visas. It is important that you speak to an immigration lawyer in Alexandria, VA immediately if you’ve received an order of removal.