Tips for Immigrants in NYC

It’s the job of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain the following people:

  • Those who return to the United States after being deported
  • People who are living illegally in the United States
  • People who are legal but have a criminal record

According to ICE’s policy, people should not be detained in:

  • Schools.
  • Religious institutions or funeral homes.
  • Hospitals.
  • Public protests or demonstrations.

In order for ICE to enter a home, they need:

  • A legal document signed by a judge.
  • The resident’s permission to enter the home.

Tactics that ICE uses to enter a home:

  • Sometimes they use uniforms similar to police uniforms and wear bulletproof vests.
  • Sometimes they dress like civilians and say that they are police or federal agents.
  • Usually they carry a document that says GUARANTOR signed by an ICE supervisor.
  • Tactics like lying and intimidation are frequently used.
  • Some of the lies that ICE has used to enter homes have been: “We are looking for a criminal/suspect/fugitive,” or “We need to speak to you about possible criminal problems.”

ICE in NYC public schools:

  • The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is in charge of keeping the city’s public schools safe and is authorized to access school facilities in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)between the DOE and the NYPD, and the Chancellor’s Provisions. NYPD officers and the school’s security agents follow NYPD policy regarding police action in schools.
  • Non-local law enforcement agents, including ICE agents, can only gain access to school facilities or school students under one of the following circumstances: with consent, with a court order, or in extreme circumstances.

You have the right to:

  • Deny ICE entrance to your home.
  • Refuse to have your home searched.
  • Stay silent.
  • Refuse to give information about your immigration status or your criminal history.
  • Refuse to sign documents.
  • Say “I’m not going to answer any questions without the presence of a lawyer.”
  • Ask to be given your rights in your own language if you don't speak English.

What you should NOT do:

  • You shouldn’t lie to ICE agents.
  • Do not physically interfere with the agents when they are arresting a family member or another person.
  • You shouldn’t show them false documents


You can provide the following documents:

  • Municipal identification card (i.e. NYC-ID)
  • Library card
  • United States driver’s license
  • Green card

It is not recommended to provide:

  • Your passport.
  • Your consulate identification.
  • Expired residency or other documents that are not yours or that are false.

For information about raids in New York, contact the Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) at (212) 725-6422.

For a free consultation or more information, visit www.immigrantdefenseproject.org.

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