Do I have to answer the door for immigration officials?

It can be an unnerving experience to have immigration officers knocking on your door, but do you know what to do when this happens? You may wonder about your rights and if you share the rights that U.S. citizens have, especially if you are undocumented. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, your immigration status does not dictate your civil rights in most situations, including when officers knock at your door.

Do not open the door

You do not have to open the door for officials. You can talk to them through the door. You should not let them into your home unless they have a warrant to enter the premises. The only warrants that allow entry into a home are search or arrest warrants. If officers have a deportation warrant, it does not allow them to come into your home without an invitation. Also, note that if you are on probation or parole, the ability to enter your home without a warrant may be a condition, and an officer would be allowed to enter.

Do not say anything

You have the right to remain silent if you wish. You should, however, ask why they are there and confirm they are from immigration. You should also verify their identity by asking for identification and any paperwork they may have with them.

Do not resist

If officers try to force their way into your home or take you into custody, you should not resist and should state that you do not give consent to them to enter your home. Exercise your right to remain silent if they ask you questions and tell them you would like to speak to an attorney.

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