Know Your Rights: Your Work Place

All people living in the United States, including undocumented immigrants, have certain U.S. Constitutional rights. If immigration officers (ICE) come to your work place, they must have a valid search warrant or the consent of your employer to enter non-public areas. If you are undocumented and immigration officers come to your work place, be aware of the following:

  • Do not panic and do not run away. If you are frightened and feel like you need to leave, you can calmly walk toward the exit.
    • If you are stopped, you may ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says no, do not try to exit the building.
    • If you are questioned, you may tell them you want to remain silent.
  • You have the right to remain silent. You do not need to speak to the immigration authorities or answer any questions.
    • If you are asked where you were born, or how you entered the United States, you may refuse to answer or remain silent.
    • If you choose to remain silent, say so out loud.
    • If they ask you to stand in a group according to immigration status, you do not have to move, or you can move to an area that is not designated for a particular group.
    • You may show a know-your-rights card to an officer that explains that you will remain silent and wish to speak to a lawyer.
    • You may refuse to show identity documents that say what country you are from.
    • Do not show any false documents and do not lie.
  • You have the right to speak to a lawyer. If you are detained or taken into custody, you have the right to immediately contact a lawyer.
    • Even if you do not have a lawyer, you may tell the immigration officers that you want to speak to one.
    • If you have a lawyer, you have the right to talk to them. If you have a signed Form G-28, which shows you have a lawyer, give it to an officer.
    • If you do not have a lawyer, ask an immigration officer for a list of pro bono lawyers.
    • You also have the right to contact your consulate. The consulate may be able to assist you in locating a lawyer.
    • You can refuse to sign any/all paperwork until you have had the opportunity to speak to a lawyer.
    • If you choose to sign something without speaking to a lawyer, be sure you understand exactly what the document says and means before you sign it.

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