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Know Your Rights: Immigration

October 2019

If you think you might be picked up by immigration, you should make a plan for yourself and your family.

Speak with an attorney if you can.

    Si ested cree que está en peligro de ser detenido por inmigración, haga un plan para usted mismo y para su familia.

    Hable con un abogado, si puede hacerlo.

      What happens if I get stopped on the street by immigration?

      • Do not run. Remain calm.
      • If officials ask for your name, you must tell them. You do not have to answer any other questions.
      • You can ask if you are free to go. If the answer is yes, you may walk away calmly.
      • It is best not to lie, carry false documents, or carry documents from another country with you.

      What are my rights if I am arrested?

      • If they ask for your name, you must tell them. You don’t have to answer other questions.
      • You can ask to make a phone call and speak with your lawyer. Memorize the phone number of your lawyer or a family member or trusted friend who is in the United States legally.
      • You do not have to give information or answer any questions about your immigration status.
      • You do not have to sign any documents.

      Remember: It is best not to lie, carry false documents, or carry documents from another country with you.

      What can I do if immigration comes to my home?

      • You do not have to open the door.
      • You can ask the official(s) if they have a warrant. You can ask the official to pass the warrant under the door.
      • You can confirm that the warrant has been signed by a judge or magistrate. Only a warrant signed by a judge or magistrate allows immigration officials to enter your home to search your home or make an arrest.
      • An arrest warrant will name the person they are looking for. If they only have an arrest warrant, you do not have to agree to let them to search your home.
      • If the warrant is not signed by a judge or magistrate, you do not need to open the door or allow entry to your home.
      • If they enter your home anyway, you have the right to ask for the names and badge numbers of the officers and say you did not agree to the search.
      • Even if the warrant is valid and immigration officials are allowed to enter your home or make an arrest, you do not need to answer their questions.
      • If you are arrested, you can ask to speak with an attorney.

      Note: If immigration officials take items from your home, keep a record of what they took and ask for a receipt for the items.

      What can I do if immigration comes to my workplace?

      • Do not run. If they are not looking for you, running will make you a target.
      • If they ask for your name, you must tell them, but you don’t have to answer other questions.
      • You can ask if you are free to go. If the answer is yes, you may walk away calmly.

      Note: Immigration does not need a warrant or permission to enter the public spaces of a business, such as the dining room in a restaurant.  They do need a warrant or permission to enter areas that are not open to the public, such as the kitchen in a restaurant.

      You can carry this card with you and hand it to the police or immigration. Or slip it under your door if immigration comes to your house:


      I am exercising my constitutional rights.
      I do not wish to speak with you.

      I will not open the door unless you have a warrant signed by a judge.


      Estoy ejerciendo mis derechos constitucionales.
      No deseo hablar contigo.

      No voy a abrir la puerta a menos que
      tenga una orden judicial firmada por un juez.


      Legal help for immigrants

      To learn more about your rights, visit www.immi.org.

      These programs offer free or inexpensive legal services for people with low income:

      • Greater Hartford Legal Aid: 860-541-5000
      • Connecticut Legal Services: 860-225-8678
      • New Haven Legal Assistance: 203-946-4811
      • International Institute:
        • Bridgeport: 203-336-0414;
        • Stamford: 203-965-7190;
        • Hartford: 860-692-3085;
        • Derby: 203-751-8696
      • The Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization of Yale Law School: 203-432-4800
      • University of Connecticut School of Law, Asylum and Human Rights Clinic: 860-570-5165
      • Immigration Advocates Network, www.immigrationadvocates.org/nonprofit/legaldirectory
      • For referral to an attorney in private practice contact the American Immigration Lawyers Association: 800-954-0254 or www.AILA.org

      Get Help From Legal Aid

      Age 60+: Get help from legal aid.
      Under age 60: Find legal help or apply online.
      Not from Connecticut? Find help in another state.