Protect Yourself By Knowing Your Rights

  • By: Serving Immigrants
  • Published: April 5, 2021
Protect Yourself By Knowing Your Rights


Being arrested or detained can be an overwhelming, stressful, and significant event in your life. Though the subject of being arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may be uncomfortable to think about, you should still understand your rights. So if you are arrested or detained, you can rely on exercising the rights that you know you have. 

Remain Silent

You do have the right to remain silent. And this can be surprisingly difficult to do. The reason being is that you will likely have the desire to explain your way out of the situation you are in. If you think you’ve been detained mistakenly, you might wish to express this. Should you not have a valid explanation for why you were detained, do not lie or pass off fake documents.  

Focus on remaining silent and expressing that you would like to remain silent. Think of this: instead of saying something, ask for things. For example, ask if you are free to leave. Ask to speak to an attorney. It is important to know that the government is not going to pay for legal counsel for you. 

Remaining silent also applies to writing out a statement. And lastly, you will have to deliberately not answer questions—which may be difficult. Types of questions you may receive could be where you were born, or if you have any ID from the country you came from.

Don’t Sign Without An Attorney

It is natural to want to resolve the situation you are in. And the people detaining you may offer solutions.

For example, they could ask you to sign a “Voluntary Departure.” Regardless of what it may seem like, if you sign this, then you are waiving the chance to get a hearing, and you will have to leave the United States—and you may never be allowed back in. 

Along the same lines as speaking, it is to your benefit not to sign anything until you have to have spoken with an attorney. The attorney is there to represent you and your interests and can explain what it is that you’re signing. 

If you cannot afford a lawyer, ask to speak to someone at your consulate—this is another right you have. This might be another opportunity to get legal counsel. Though they do not need to send a lawyer to represent you, they could know someone for you to call.

Cuprys & Associates

If you or someone you know needs an immigration attorney, we are the people who can help you. At Cuprys & Associates, we are accustomed to handling immigration detention, immigration bond, and deportation defense. Contact us online to schedule a consultation, or you can reach us at (305) 907-6151.

Magdalena Cuprys, Esq.

As an immigrant and a refugee herself, attorney Magdalena Cuprys understands how
important, terrifying, and exciting immigrating to America can be. She understands
how important it is to have one’s legal status in order to achieve the American dream.

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