Rights and Planning Guide: Part 4 – What are Your Rights? The Right to Remain Silent

You have the right to remain silent.
This right is exercised by telling ICE or police agents that you would like to speak to your attorney before answering any of their questions. This right can be exercised even if you have already spoken to the agent. It can be exercised even if you are under arrest or in jail.

a. See Addendum #2 with a red card you can print out and present to ICE or police agents.

b. If you do not have a red card, tell the ICE police agents the following:

i. “I want to speak to my attorney” and then remain silent.

ii. Learn this phrase in English.

2. Don’t let yourself be intimidated! If you do not choose to exercise this right, no one will do it for you. Remaining silent is for your benefit because anything you say can be used against you.

a. In Nebraska, you are required to give your name to a Nebraska law enforcement officer if the officer has reason to believe you have committed or will commit a crime.

Your Rights at Home
1. If you are at home and ICE knocks at your door, remember you have the right to see the warrant before opening the door and the ICE agent’s identification to prove they are from ICE. Take a photo of the document, if at all possible.

a. There are 2 ways an ICE agent/police can enter your home:

i. With a warrant signed by a Judge. The warrant signed by a Judge is different than a warrant for arrest, which is what ICE agents typically carry;

  • a) See Addendum #3 for a sample Warrant of Arrest. This Warrant of Arrest is typically what ICE agents carry. It is NOT enough to enter your home,
    as it signed by an ICE agent, not a Judge.

  • b) NOTE: With a judicial warrant—a warrant signed by a Judge, the ICE agents can come into your house, regardless of whether you give them permission.


ii. With permission of a resident of the house. a) ICE agents can ask you to enter even though they don’t have a warrant/order. Do not open the door and, instead, ask the ICE agent to pass the warrant under the door. If the ICE agent indeed does not have one or it is not a judicial warrant, you do NOT have to open the door. If you choose to open the door when the ICE agent does not have a warrant, you will be renouncing to certain rights.

2. If the ICE agent enters your home, remember your right to remain silent. Do not answer any of their questions, not even where you were born. Do not show them false documents. If you have to speak, ask to speak with your attorney. Do not sign anything and never physically interfere with the agents of ICE or the police.

3. At least one ICE agent should speak the target’s native language, so don’t be afraid to invoke your rights in whatever language you speak, but if possible, memorize the following phrases:

A. I Don’t Want To Speak To You Without Lawyer.

B. I Don’t Consent To You Searching My House.

C. I Don’t Consent To You Searching My Belongings.

Your Rights if You Are Stopped on the Street
1. If you are walking down the street and are approached by an agent of ICE or the police who begins to ask you questions, ask if you can leave. If they say “yes,” walk away slowly. If they say “no,” don’t walk away, ask to speak to an attorney, and remain silent.

a. See Addendum #2 for a sample Red Card you can carry and present to the police or ICE agent if this occurs.

b. You are required to give your name and you may be required to give your address to a Nebraska law enforcement officer if the officer has reason to believe you have committed or will commit a crime; however, you are not required answer any other questions.

2. An agent of ICE or the police may pat you down to make sure you have no weapons or drugs in your possession. Do not resist this inspection. The agents cannot arrest you without a warrant or proof that you have committed a crime or have no legal status, so:

a. Gather documentation of continuous presence
in the U.S. for the last 2 years and store in a safe place where your family and/or power of attorney know where to find it (please see the safety planning guide for more information on proof of continuous presence);

b. Don’t give ICE/law enforcement documentation from your home country that shows your nationality;

c. Don’t give ICE/law enforcement false documentation; and

d. Never lie to police officer or immigration agent.

Your Constitutional Rights (Addendum #2, as mentioned above):  
I do not wish to speak with you, answer your questions, or sign or hand you any documents based on my 5th Amendment rights under the United States Constitution. I do not give you permission to enter my home based on my 4th Amendment rights under the United States Constitution unless you have a warrant to enter, signed by a judge or magistrate with my name on it that you slide under the door. I do not give you permission to search any of my belongings based on my 4th Amendment rights. I choose to exercise my constitutional rights.

These cards are available to citizens and noncitizens alike.
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