Your rights as an immigrant, regardless of status

- With the recent raids the immigrant community is scared and confused. If you are in this country illegally, know you have constitutional rights like anyone else. A lawyer outlined what you should and shouldn't do if U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents come knocking at your door.

The raids have created a state of panic and uncertainty among the immigrant community. ICE has made hundreds of arrests, including more than 40 in New York.

Trial attorney Misty Marris says many people are confused and don't know that they have rights that protect them. She says you have the same rights as you would in any criminal investigation. The U.S. Constitution does apply to anyone in the country, regardless of legal status.

If ICE shows up to your house, you don't have to open the door unless the agents have a valid warrant. If they have a warrant, you must let them in. If they do not, you don't have to speak to them, Marris says.

You have the right to remain silent. Do not answer any questions or give them any information like which country you are from. If you are detained by ICE or other law enforcement, invoke your Fifth Amendment right and ask immediately to speak to an attorney, Marris says.

Marris says that if an agent asks to see your documentation, never hand over fake documents. Doing so is a crime. She says showing fake documentation is obstructing justice, which can result in felony charges.

However, if you are in the United States legally, such as with a green card or other valid permit or visa, you can and should show them the paperwork or ID.

Before you sign anything, talk to a lawyer. You have the right to refuse to sign any document that is handed to you, she says. It is absolutely critical that you see a lawyer before you sign any papers, Marris says.

The Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights says you have the right to record a raid or interactions with ice. You can later use this in your defense. Also the coalition recommends you memorize the number of the consulate or embassy of your native country in case you are detained or arrested so that they can assist you.

Remember: every case is different. If you have any concerns, the best thing to do is contact a lawyer so you know where you stand regarding your case.

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