What Should I Do If ICE Comes to My Home?

If you aren’t legally permitted to live in the United States, you may wonder, “What should I do if ICE comes to my home?” Fortunately, you can take several key steps to ensure the best possible outcome.

What is ICE?

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is part of the Department of Homeland Security. It is a law enforcement agency that handles immigration law enforcement.

Because ICE enforces laws like the police do state and local laws, if you’re an immigrant without legal status, they could end up at your door.

5 Steps to Take if ICE Shows Up?

In the event of a visit from ICE, follow these steps:

1. Stay Inside and Don’t Open Doors

To gain entry to a property, ICE agents need a signed court warrant. The only other way they can get in is if an individual opens the door and grants them permission themselves.

If they have a warrant, ask to see it before allowing ICE agents to enter.

2. Exercise Your Constitutional Rights

Remember – anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. If an ICE agent starts asking you questions about your residency and immigration status and you’re not willing to tell them, it can be safer to stay quiet. Say “I plead the fifth amendment and choose to remain silent.”

3. Avoid Signing Any Documents

If you are given any documents to sign by ICE agents, politely refuse and ask to wait until you have a lawyer present. In the stress of the situation, it can be easy to overlook small details that may incriminate you or leave you liable for voluntary deportation as an illegal alien.

4. Remain Calm

It’s understandable to become upset, but the absolute worst thing you can do in this situation is to lose your temper. In all likelihood, you’ll end up making things worse for yourself and could even end up with additional charges being brought against you.

5. Call an Attorney

Before anything else, call an experienced criminal or immigration. They’ll help you to work through the situation and bring it to the best achievable conclusion.

Collect Evidence to Help Your Lawyer

You don’t have to be invasive to do this. All you need to do is stand with your cellphone and take photos and videos of the ICE visit to aid your lawyer’s case.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding If ICE Comes to My Home, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.