Immigrant community should be prepared, know rights

The President's new immigration order is expected to come any day.

Immigrants want to make sure they know their rights. 

The immigrant community is scared and many are confused. If you are in this country illegally, know you have rights, constitutional rights like anyone else. A lawyer outlined what you should and shouldn't do if ICE knocks at your door.

The recent raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents throughout the country including here in New York created a state of panic and uncertainty among the immigrant community. 

"There is a rift in the law right now. We are talking about federal courts that are going to make the decision if whether or not these detainments are legal," said trial Attorney, Misty Marris.


ICE has made hundreds of arrests- More than 40 in New York. Marris said many people are confused and don't know that they have rights that protect them.

"You have the same rights as you would in any criminal investigation, the constitutional rights do apply to them," she said.

If ICE shows up to your house, you don't have to open the door.

"The only way you have to open the door is if they have a valid warrant, then you do. If there is no warrant, you don't have to speak to ice and you don't have to let ICE in,” continued Marris.

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, law enforcement, or anyone, remain silent. Evoke your Fifth Amendment right, and immediately ask to speak to an attorney who can help you through the process.

If an agent asks for documentation, Marris said never hand over fake documents. If you do, you have committed a crime.

"If you show fake documentation, you are obstructing justice. You are talking about potential felony charges. Never do that," she said.

However, if you are here legally, meaning if you have a green card, you can and should show them.

Before signing anything, talk to a lawyer. You have the right to refuse to sign any document that is handed to you. 

"You can potentially be confessing to something- admitting that you are in the country illegally. It’s absolutely critical that you see a lawyer before you sign any documentation illegally,” she said.

If someone knocks on your door, and you think its ICE, all you have to say is that you want to see the warrant signed by a judge. Simply ask the officer to slide the warrant under the door.

Meanwhile, the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights said you have the right to record a raid or interactions with ICE, which can later be used in your defense. The coalition also recommended you memorize the number of your consulate or embassy, in case you are detained or arrested-they can assist you.