There is some debate in Kentucky over whether Immigration and Customs Enforcement may enter your home without a warrant. The requirement for a warrant before entering a private residence protects U.S. citizens, but the Immigration and Nationality Act makes allowances for ICE officers to bypass some of the standard procedures when it comes to suspicions of immigration crimes.
Nevertheless, it may be beneficial for residents to exercise these rights during an encounter with ICE. Planning ahead can help you avoid aggravating your case.
Among other things, Section 287 of the INA allows ICE “to interrogate any alien or person believed to be an alien as to his right to be or to remain in the United States,” and “to arrest any alien in the United States, if he has reason to believe that the alien so arrested is in the United States in violation of any such law or regulation.”
In other words, ICE may arrest anyone they suspect of immigration crimes, even without a warrant. The relevance and limitations of this act have faced frequent contest in court, so it is difficult to offer definitive predictions for how these will play out in each circumstance. Your best resource is to contact a lawyer about your individual case.
If ICE does arrest you on suspicion of immigration crimes, the law requires that the officers take you to an official promptly to determine your immigration status. They may not hold you beyond 48 hours without charging you.
Encounters with ICE
If an ICE officer comes to your home, stay calm and cooperate without incriminating yourself. In Kentucky, you must give your name to law enforcement officers when they request it, but you do not need to provide any other information.
In fact, it is best to offer as little information as possible to avoid incriminating yourself; anything you say could come back to hurt your case later, even if you believe it may help at the time. Most importantly, never resist, fight officers or attempt to run away.
The American Civil Liberties Union recommends keeping your door shut and requesting to see a warrant before opening the door — this may help your case even if they have grounds to bypass the requirement for a warrant. Opening the door and allowing officers into your home gives them legal consent to conduct a search, and anything they find could be evidence against you.