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If ICE Agents Stop You, These Are Your Rights

Posted on in Deportation

Stamford deportation defense lawyerBeing stopped by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents can be a scary experience, because you may feel as though your life in the United States is being put in jeopardy. It is true that a lot can be on the line during these encounters. That is why it is important for you to understand what your rights are and what the best course of action for you will likely be. Follow these steps to minimize your risks of deportation during interactions with ICE agents.

If You Are a Citizen of the United States

ICE officers are not authorized to detain U.S. citizens, but that does not mean it does not happen. From 2007 to 2015, more than 1,500 U.S. citizens were improperly detained by immigration officials, according to National Public Radio. 

If you are a citizen, you should always inform immigration authorities of that fact. A citizen can be detained if they are unable to immediately prove their citizenship through documentation, such as a passport, birth certificate, or voter ID card.

If You Have Legal Residence

It is generally advised that non-citizens who are legal residents of the United States should carry documentation on them and be prepared to produce these documents if requested. These documents may include a passport with a valid visa or a Green Card that demonstrates lawful permanent resident status.

If You Do Not Have Legal Residence

If you are not a legal resident of the U.S., any documents you attempt to present can be used against you. 

No matter what your status is, you should be aware that you can:

  • Request to leave. Know that if officers do not have a warrant or probable cause to suspect that a crime has occurred, they cannot detain anyone.
  • Remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions or defend yourself.
  • Request a lawyer. While non-U.S. citizens do not have the right to a free attorney, they can ask for a list of legal services.
  • Do not sign any documents. These documents can have lasting consequences. For example, immigrants can waive their rights to a deportation hearing by signing certain documents.
  • Be truthful. As previously noted, do not present false documents, and do not lie about your immigration status.

Contact a Stamford, CT Immigration Attorney

If you have an immigration issue, the Gonzalez Law Office, LLC wants to help. We have assisted clients with a variety of immigration issues from visas to naturalization to Green Cards. The immigration system in the United States is complex, and a skilled New Canaan immigration lawyer can make sure you are on the proper path for your unique situation. Call our office today at 203-323-1440 to set up your confidential consultation.





Fairfield County Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association American Immigration Lawyers Association Connecticut American Immigration Lawyers Association
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