Regardless of your immigration status, you have guaranteed rights under the Constitution. Learn more here about your rights as an immigrant, and how to express them.

Click here for information on what to do when interacting with ICE.

Law enforcement asks about my immigration status

How to reduce risk to yourself 

  • Stay calm. Don’t run, argue, resist, or obstruct the officer, even if you believe your rights are being violated. Keep your hands where police can see them.
  • Don’t lie about your status or provide false documents.

Your rights

  • You have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status with police, immigration agents, or other officials. Anything you tell an officer can later be used against you in immigration court. 
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen and an immigration agent requests your immigration papers, you must show them if you have them with you. 
  • If an immigration agent asks if they can search you, you have the right to say no. Agents do not have the right to search you or your belongings without your consent or probable cause. 
  • If you’re over 18, carry your papers with you at all times. If you don’t have them, tell the officer that you want to remain silent, or that you want to consult a lawyer before answering any questions.

What to do in such an encounter 

  • In some states, you must provide your name to law enforcement if you are stopped and told to identify yourself. But even if you give your name, you don’t have to answer other questions.
  • If you are driving and are pulled over, the officer can require you to show your license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance, but you don’t have to answer questions about your immigration status.
  • Customs officers can ask about your immigration status when entering or leaving the country. If you are a lawful permanent resident (LPR) who has maintained your status, you only have to answer questions establishing your identity and permanent residency. Refusal to answer other questions will likely cause delay, but officials may not deny you entry into the United States for failure to answer other questions. If you are a non-citizen visa holder, you may be denied entry into the U.S. if you refuse to answer officers’ questions.

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