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Undocumented immigrants have rights in the United States

Immigrants living in Kentucky may have encountered circumstances that left them without the proper documentation to remain in the United States with their families. As a result, they may worry that a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent may come knocking on their door and then detain and deport them.

An immigrant does not have to simply let the ICE officer in, answer questions and submit to deportation. In fact, according to the National Immigration Project, here is what an undocumented immigrant has the right to do if authorities are on the doorstep:

  • Keep the door closed: An agent cannot enter unless he or she has a signed warrant or unless the occupant of the house allows them to come in. If the agent claims to have a warrant, the immigrant can request that he or she slide it under the door to verify that there is such a document.
  • Do not speak: Immigrants have the right to remain silent, and it is a good idea to do so. Anything that an undocumented immigrant says to an ICE agent may be used against him or her in a deportation case.
  • Document the incident: Regardless of the outcome, it is a good idea for an immigrant to have a thorough record of the interaction with the agent. Video and audio recordings, pictures and notes of what happened may provide evidence that an ICE agent did not follow proper procedure or violated the immigrant’s rights.

The ACLU reports that ICE has a history of violating the rights of undocumented immigrants, from illegal searches and seizures to racial discrimination and refusing due process. The U.S. Constitution is not just for citizens; it protects undocumented immigrants from threats to their civil liberties, too.

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