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When US immigration law officers knock on your door

Many Florida residents also happen to be immigrants, some of whom entered the United States without having appropriate paperwork in order. Reasons for this may vary although thousands of people have shared experiences that involve fleeing from violence, poverty or other imminent dangers. Such circumstances often bring many challenges to family life, including what to do if U.S. immigration law officials knock on the door when immigrants are at home.

It's not uncommon for immigrants and citizens alike to misguidedly believe they are legally obligated to open their front doors when police officers or immigration officials knock. The fact is no homeowner has to open a door if he or she chooses not to unless there are, in fact, police officers outside showing a valid search warrant, which is a game-changer. Otherwise, it is perfectly legal to speak through a closed door as well as to deny anyone on the outside entry.

A homeowner may also publicly state that he or she does not consent to a search of the premises. If police or other officials say they are conducting an investigation, the homeowner may request legal representation before answering any questions. Neither police nor immigration officials have free rein when showing up at someone's home unannounced.

There is strict protocol that governs what authorities may say or do during an investigation or search and seizure process. If a Florida immigrant or citizen believes U.S. immigration law officers or police have violated his or her rights, an experienced attorney can help rectify the situation. If charges are filed at some point, an attorney can also fight those charges on behalf of the individual in question.

Source:, "When the Police Knock on Your Door Your rights and options: a legal guide and poster", Accessed on Feb. 9, 2018

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