Everyone has guaranteed rights in the United States—including immigrants.

Being Questioned

The 5th Amendment (Rights of Persons) gives immigrants the right to remain silent. While some states require you to identify yourself by name, you do not have to share your immigration or citizenship status with the police if asked. However, if you are not a U.S. citizen and an officer requests your immigration papers, you must show them if they are on your person. If you don’t have your immigration papers, tell the officer that you would like to consult a lawyer before answering any questions. If you cannot afford a lawyer, ask for a court-appointed attorney.

Being Searched

The 4th Amendment (Search and Seizures) protects immigrants from unreasonable searches and seizures. If the police ask to search your person, you have the right to say no unless the requesting officer has probable cause. If the police ask to search your property, you have the right to say no unless the requesting officer has a warrant.

Questions & Answers

Are police allowed to arrest me if I don’t have any immigration papers on me?

  • Yes, they are allowed to detain you but follow your rights when being detained and ask for an attorney.

If the police or immigration services arrive at my house, do I have to let them in?

  • No, you do not have to let anyone in unless there is a warrant.

Am I protected under all of the same rights as an immigrant?

  • The Constitution protects all persons including those persons “whose presence in this country is unlawful” meaning you are protected.