Know your rights when ICE encounters you in public places

Edited by Atty. Crispin Caday Lozano

In cooperation with American Immigration Lawyers Association, ACLU and other Immigrants Advocates, I have summarized your rights whenever there is an encounter in public places such as streets, government offices, public parks, public transports and other public offices and facilities.  You can send your friends and relatives a copy of this advisory for the protection of their rights.

The U.S. Constitution provides that all people living in the United States, including undocumented immigrants, have certain U.S. Constitutional rights. If you are undocumented and immigration (ICE) officers stop you on the street or in a public place, know that you have the following rights:

A. You have the right to remain silent. You do not need to speak to the immigration officers or answer any questions.

  1. You may ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says no, you may exercise your right to remain silent.
  2. If you are asked where you were born or how you entered the United States, you may refuse to answer or remain silent.
  3. If you choose to remain silent, say so out loud.
  4. You may show a know-your-rights card (I published in my previous article) to the officer that explains that you will remain silent and wish to speak to an attorney.
  5. You may refuse to show identity documents that say what country you are from.
  6. Do not show any false documents and do not lie.


B. You may refuse a search. If you are stopped for questioning but are not arrested, you do not have to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings, but an officer may “pat down” your clothes if he or she suspects you have a weapon.

C. You have the right to speak to a lawyer. If you are detained or taken into custody, you have the right to immediately contact a lawyer.

  1. Even if you do not have a lawyer, you may tell the immigration officers that you want to speak to a lawyer.
  2. If you have a lawyer, you have the right to talk to them. If you have a signed DHS Form G-28, which shows you have a lawyer, give it to an officer.
  3. If you do not have a lawyer, ask an immigration officer for a list of pro bono lawyers.
  4. You also have the right to contact your consulate. The consulate may be able to assist you in locating a lawyer.
  5. You can refuse to sign any/all paperwork until you have had the opportunity to speak to a lawyer.
  6. If you choose to sign something without speaking to a lawyer, be sure you understand exactly what the document says and means before you sign it.


DOJ Plans to Send Immigration Judges to other cities to speed up deportations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department is developing plans to temporarily reassign immigration judges from around the country to 12 cities to speed up deportations of illegal immigrants who have been charged with crimes, according to two administration officials.

How many judges will be reassigned and when they will be sent is still under review, according to the officials, but the Justice Department has begun soliciting volunteers for deployment.

The targeted cities are New York; Los Angeles; Miami; New Orleans; San Francisco; Baltimore, Bloomington, Minnesota; El Paso, Texas; Harlingen, Texas; Imperial, California; Omaha, Nebraska and Phoenix, Arizona. They were chosen because they are cities which have high populations of illegal immigrants with criminal charges, the officials said.

A spokeswoman for the Justice Department’s Executive Office of Immigration Review, which administers immigration courts, confirmed that the cities have been identified as likely recipients of reassigned immigration judges, but did not elaborate on the planning.

The plan to intensify deportations is in line with a vow made frequently by President Donald Trump on the campaign trail last year to deport more illegal immigrants involved in crime.

Under an executive order signed by Trump in January, illegal immigrants with pending criminal cases are regarded as priorities for deportation whether they have been found guilty or not.

The policy shift has been criticized by advocate groups who say it unfairly targets immigrants who might ultimately be acquitted and do not pose a threat.

Note:  This is not a legal advice and you should seek the advice of an immigration attorney for your personal circumstances.

We at our Law Firm will continue to monitor this Administration’s every move and protect and fight for our clients due process rights.  We believe that immigrants contributed a lot to the United States of America.

If you have immigration problems the Law Offices of Crispin C. Lozano can help you find a solution before your problem gets worse which could lead to deportation and family separation.

Crispin Caday Lozano, Esq. is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association.  He specializes in immigration law and personal injury.  For free consultation email or call ( 1-877-456-9266)

Toll Free 1-877-4LOZANO for free consultation or Schedule an Appointment