The following are special guidelines for police interactions if you are an immigrant. For our general Know Your Rights guide to police interactions, go here.

Available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Korean, Somali, Spanish, Urdu and Vietnamese

IF YOU ARE ARRESTED

Ask your lawyer about the effect of a criminal conviction or plea on your immigration status.         

Don’t discuss with your immigration status with anyone but your lawyer.

While you are in jail, an immigration agent may visit you. Do not answer questions or sign anything before talking to a lawyer.

Read all the papers fully. If you do not understand or cannot read the papers, tell the officer you need an interpreter.

IF YOU ARE TAKEN INTO IMMIGRATION (OR “ICE”) CUSTODY

You have the right to a lawyer, but the government does not have to provide one for you. If you do not have a lawyer, ask for a list of free or low-cost legal services. You have the right to contact your consulate or have an officer inform the consulate of your arrest.

Tell the ICE agent you wish to remain silent. Do not discuss your immigration status with anyone but your lawyer.

DO not sign anything, such as voluntary departure or stipulated removal, without talking to a lawyer. If you sign, you may be giving up your opportunity to stay in the U.S.

Remember your immigration number (“A” number) and give it to your family. It will help family members locate you.

Keep a copy of your immigration documents with someone you trust. 

IF YOU ARE QUESTIONED ABOUT YOUR IMMIGRATION STATUS

You have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status with police, immigration agents or any other officials. You do not have to answer questions about where you were born, whether you are a U.S. citizen, or how you entered the country. (Separate rules apply at international borders and airports, and for individuals on certain nonimmigrant visas, including tourists and business travelers.)

If you are not a U.S. citizen and an immigration agent requests your immigration papers, you must show them if you have them with you. If you are over 18, carry your immigration documents with you at all times. If you do not have immigration papers, say you want to remain silent.

Do not lie about your citizenship status or provide fake documents.

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