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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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What should I do when ice agents show up at our office to interview me

By Spodek Law Group | July 19, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 17, 2023)

Last Updated on: 17th October 2023, 10:57 pm


What to Do When ICE Agents Show Up at Your Office

Getting a visit from Immigation and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents at your workplace can be an intimidating and stressful situation. As an immigrant myself, I totally understand the anxiety you must be feeling. But try to stay calm and know your rights. There are things you can do to prepare yourself and protect your coworkers.

First off, don’t panic! ICE needs a warrant or your permission to enter non-public areas at your workplace. They are allowed to knock on the door, but you don’t have to let them in if they don’t have a warrant.

Have a Plan in Place

It’s a good idea for your office to have a plan ready in case ICE shows up. Assign someone to be the point person who will handle the situation and communicate with ICE agents. Make sure all employees know who this is and what to do if agents arrive.

The point person should ask to see the warrant and confirm it is signed by a judge. They can also ask for the agent’s credentials, name, and phone number. All of this information should be written down.

If the agents don’t have a warrant, the point person can refuse them entry to private areas. ICE isn’t allowed to search desks, lockers, breakrooms, etc without permission or a warrant.

Don’t Answer Questions

Both documented and undocumented immigrants have the right to remain silent when questioned by immigration agents. You don’t have to tell them where you were born, how you entered the U.S. or anything else. Say that you want to exercise your right to remain silent.

ICE may threaten you with arrest, but know that they can’t arrest you simply for remaining silent. Don’t let them intimidate you into answering questions without a lawyer present.

Don’t Sign Anything

ICE agents may try to get you to sign papers consenting to a search or agreeing to voluntary departure. Never sign anything without talking to a lawyer first, even if they pressure you or say it will help your case.

Signing away your rights could lead to detention or deportation. You have the right to speak with a lawyer before signing any documents.

Record Interactions

It’s perfectly legal to record video or audio of your interactions with ICE agents, as long as they are aware they are being recorded. This can protect you by having evidence of what was said and any violations of your rights.

Let the agents know you are recording them and ask them to confirm they consent to being recorded. If they refuse, stop recording but take detailed notes of what is said and done.

Call Your Lawyer

If you already have an immigration lawyer, call them immediately when ICE shows up. Your lawyer can talk to the agents on your behalf and ensure your rights are protected.

If you don’t have a lawyer, say that you want to speak with one. ICE has to allow you to contact a lawyer, although they don’t have to wait for the lawyer to arrive before questioning you.

Get in touch with local non-profit legal aid organizations that may be able to provide free or low-cost legal help. Here are some options:

Report Rights Violations

If ICE agents violate your rights or use excessive force, report it! This allows the agencies to investigate and hold agents accountable for misconduct.

You can file complaints with agencies like the DOJ Civil Rights Division, DHS Office of Inspector General, and ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations.

Also report violations to advocacy groups like the ACLU which may be able to take legal action. The more violations are reported, the more pressure there is for reform.

Know Your Options if Detained

In some cases ICE may detain you, but you still have rights even if arrested. Here’s what too expect:

  • You have the right to a lawyer. Keep asking to speak with one.
  • Don’t answer questions beyond your name and address.
  • Don’t sign anything without a lawyer.
  • You may have the option to post bail until your court date.
  • As a non-citizen, you have the right to call your consulate.
  • You can refuse to sign voluntary departure papers.

Being detained doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be deported. Talk to a lawyer about possible defenses like asylum, cancellation of removal, and adjustment of status.

Spread Awareness of Rights

The more employees know their rights, the less power ICE has to take advantage. Share this information with coworkers so they can prepare too.

Hang posters from the ACLU and other groups around the office explaining rights when dealing with ICE. Have training sessions on workplace rights.

The more you learn, the better prepared you’ll be if agents show up. But also know that thousands face this situation and there are people ready to help. Stay calm, don’t panic, and call for help. We’re all in this together.

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

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It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me, and my company Qumana skincare feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything...

~A G

5 Stars
After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

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