Know Your Rights: If ICE Confronts You

Dec 13, 2019

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ICE at Door

What to do if ICE confronts you

  • Do NOT open your door. ICE can’t come into your home unless they have a signed search warrant or you let them in. If officers are at your door, ask them to pass the warrant under the door before you open it. An arrest warrant (or an administrative warrant of removal) is not enough to come inside you home. If ICE officers want to enter your home, they must have a valid judicial search warrant that says the officers have a right to enter or search that particular address or areas specified. If the agents don’t speak your language, ask for an interpreter.

  • Check out the warrant. Look at the top and at the signature line to see if it was issued by a court and signed by a judge. Only a court/judge warrant grants ICE permission to enter your premises. One issued by DHS or ICE and signed by a DHS or ICE employee does not.

  • Do NOT resist if ICE agents force their way in. Say “I do not consent to your entry,” but do not physically resist.
  • Tell them you want to speak to a lawyer. ICE can use anything you say against you in your immigration case, so claim your right to remain silent! Say, “I want to speak to a lawyer and choose to remain silent.”
  • Do NOT sign. Be careful what you sign. ICE might ask you to sign forms agreeing to be deported without first seeing a judge.
  • Afraid to go back? If you get arrested and there is a final order for your deportation, be sure to let agents know if you have a fear of returning to your home country.
  • Find an attorney. If you get detained, don’t give up hope! Get a trustworthy lawyer and explore all options to fight deportation.
  • Report raids or checkpoints. (see Rapid Response numbers)
  • Document. If it’s possible, take photos, videos, and notes on exactly what happened. Write down badge numbers. Note if ICE interferes with your right to take photos or video.

Northern California Local Rapid Response Hotlines

The following are hotline numbers for local rapid response networks. These numbers are meant for EMERGENCIES ONLY to report ICE activity and enforcement actions.

Alameda County (510) 241-4011
Central Valley (559) 206-0151
Stand Together Contra Costa (925) 900-5151
Humboldt County (707) 282-5226
Marin County (415) 991-4545
Monterey County (831) 643-5225
North Bay: Solano, Sonoma & Napa Counties (707) 800-4544
Sacramento & Yolo Counties (916) 245-6773
San Francisco City (415) 200-1548
Santa Clara County (408) 290-1144
Santa Cruz County (831) 239-4289
San Mateo County (203) 666-4472
Services, Immigration Rights and Education Network (SIREN) Rapid Response Text Platform
Community members: (201) 468-6088
Allies: (918) 609-4480

Find A Person in Detention

  • To find someone who has been detained, access ICE’s online detainee locator at or call the Northern California field office at (415) 844-5512.

Be Prepared

Make sure your family knows:

  • Your A number so they can find you if you get arrested;
  • The phone number of a trusted resource for immigration legal advice; and
  • Which friends and relatives can help with family obligations.

What To Do If ICE Enters Your Workplace

  • Do NOT consent. ICE can enter areas open to the general public (dining area, parking lot, waiting room) of a business without permission. But that does not give ICE the authority to detain, question, or arrest anyone.
  • Know the law. Under California law, employers cannot turn over employee records or voluntarily allow immigration agents to enter non-public areas of the workplace without a judicial warrant. If agents don’t have a warrant, calmly ask them to leave. Advise workers that they have the right to remain silent and do not have to answer questions, but do not direct anyone not to answer questions.
  • Stay calm. Do not run, ICE can use that as a reason to arrest you. Do not encourage anyone to escape or hide.
  • If ICE enters your workplace state that you do not consent to a search. Ask to see the identification of any officers or agents and write down the name, contact information, and badge number. If the agent refuses to provide documentation, you should note that as well. Document any violence or abuse. Document the details of the search, and persons or property taken. Call the rapid response hotline in your area.
  • If ICE has a SEARCH warrant signed by a judge Make sure the warrant has the correct address for your workplace. Review the warrant to see what areas and items ICE is authorized to search. ICE is not authorized to search areas or inspect items that are not described in the warrant.

Download the guide in English or Spanish.