You do not have to open the door to any immigration agent or to the police unless they have a valid arrest or search warrant signed by a federal court judge.
You can ask the agent to pass the warrant under the door. If you open the door, officials will consider that you are giving them permission to enter. Once they are inside, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer will likely ask for documents of everyone inside.
What is a warrant?
A warrant is a document signed by a judge—not just ICE officials—that authorizes officials to enter your house.
For an arrest warrant to be valid:
- The warrant must have the name of the person they are looking for.
- That person must live at the address listed on the warrant.
- That person must be present in the home.
A valid search warrant must specify:
- The address they are going to search.
- Which places, in detail, they are going to search.
- What they are looking for.
If the agents have a warrant, review it to determine if they have searched an area that is not authorized in the warrant.
If the agents enter the house without a valid warrant, try to take notice of agents’ names and badge numbers. Even though the officers have gained entry to you home, remember to say “I do not consent to this search.” This can be said in your native language if you are not fluent in English.
Even if immigration agents have a valid warrant does not mean you have to answer their questions. If immigration agents are questioning you and you wish to remain silent, you should say aloud that you wish to remain silent or show the agents your Know Your Rights card.
None of the information in this resource should be considered legal advice. Please speak to an immigration attorney or Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accredited representative about your particular case.