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What Are My Rights as an Immigrant When Talking to the Police or ICE?

Authored By: Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) LSC Funded
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Contents

You have constitutional rights when talking to the police or ICE even when you are an immigrant. Learn what you can do, what you don't have to do, and what you must do when talking to the police or ICE. 

Do I have the right to remain silent when talking to the police or ICE?

  1. You do not have to answer all of the officer's questions. If asked, you must give your name and address. You can refust to answer all other questions.

  2. Do NOT answer questions about where you were born.

  3. Do NOT show foreign identity documents. Do NOT lie or falsely claim to be a U.S. Citizen.

  4. If an immigration agent requests your immigration papers, you must show them if you have them with you. If you do not have them, say you want to remain silent and speak to an attorney. Do NOT show false documents.

  5. If you are driving, you must show the officer your driver's license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance upon request. If you do not, you may get a ticket and have to go to court. You and your passengers can refuse to answer all questions other than your name and address. 

 

Do I have the right to walk away from the police or ICE? 

You do not have the right to walk away from the police if you are being detained or under arrest. If you are not being detained or under arrest, you are free to leave.

  1. Ask the officer if you are under arrest or being detained. If yes, say, "I wish to remain silent and speak with an attorney." If you are not being detained or under arrest, you are free to leave.

  2. You have the right to know why you are being detained or arrested.
  3. Remember: be polite, and stay calm. Do not run, argue, resist, or obstruct the officer. Do not attempt to flee a raid or arrest.

 

What are my rights to talk to an attorney?

You always have the right to talk to an attorney, even if you are an immigrant. If asked, you must give your name and address, but you do not have to answer any other questions until you talk to a lawyer.

  1. If you are detained or arrested, you do not have to answer questions (other than your name and address) or sign documents until you speak with an attorney. 

  2. Never sign anything you don't understand. 
Last Review and Update: Oct 25, 2018
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