How can I prepare for an ICE raid?

ICE raids are very serious and require assistance from experienced immigration attorneys. While the attorneys at Root & Rebound do NOT have expertise in this area, we offer the following tips from immigration advocates as a starting point to help you become more prepared. If you are worried about being the target of an ICE raid, we recommend speaking to an experienced immigration practitioner.

STEP 1: Talk to an immigration lawyer. An immigration lawyer with experience working with clients in reentry can help you prepare for a raid, figure out your and your family’s options, and determine if any expungement remedies could help you. They may also have advice on which documents you should and should not have on your person at all times. To find out more about expungement remedies, see PG. 1122. For a list of free or low-cost legal service providers, see PG. 1134.

STEP 2: Develop a family preparedness plan. You and your loved ones need to be prepared for an unexpected ICE raid. For more information on how to set up a family preparedness plan, including various childcare arrangements you can make for your children, see PG. 1120.

STEP 3: Know your rights! If ICE shows up at your house, make sure you, your loved ones, and neighbors know what ICE agents can and cannot do. No matter what your immigration status, remember the following:

Remain calm and do not run away. ICE and/or the police may find a way to use your actions against you.

You have the right to remain silent. You are not required to speak to an ICE agent. Do not answer any questions, especially about your birth place or immigration status. Tell them you will not answer their questions until you speak to a lawyer.

You have the right to demand a warrant. You do NOT have to open your door or let ICE in unless the ICE agent shows you a warrant. The warrant must be signed by a judge with your correct name and address on it.

You have the right to speak to a lawyer. Make sure you are prepared with the name and number of an attorney you can contact in the event of an immigration emergency.

You have the right to refuse to sign or show any documents before speaking to a lawyer. Do NOT sign anything. ICE agents come to raids equipped with forms that can eliminate your right to speak to a lawyer or have a hearing in front of an immigration judge. Don’t sign away your rights!

IMPORTANT: If you witness an ICE Raid, you can call the “ICE out of CA Hotline,” a phone line that connects with a confidential voicemail, which is monitored by immigrant lawyers and advocates.


Phone: 1-844-TRUST-01 (1-844-878-7801)Website: www.iceoutofca.orgMany counties also have 24/7 hotlines available to help people report ICE raids and individuals taken into immigration custody. Some hotlines (e.g. Alameda County) provide follow-up and limited-scope legal support for local peopleAlameda County: (510) 241-4011San Francisco: (415) 200-1548San Mateo County: (203) 666-4472Santa Clara County: (408) 290-1144Santa Cruz County: (831) 329-4289Monterey County: (831) 643-5525Sacramento County: (916) 245-6773Fresno County: (559) 978-4797

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    These tips are adapted from Immigrant Legal Resource Center’s info sheet “Immigrant Rights” (Apr. 24, 2017), available at