Emergency Arrest Hotline
USC students, staff, faculty, contract employees, and their immediate family members can contact the USC Immigration Clinic’s Emergency Arrest Hotline at (213)740-7435.
If you are arrested by ICE or the Border Patrol, you should immediately contact a lawyer before answering any questions or signing any documents.
If you do not already have a lawyer, you (or someone on your behalf) may phone the USC Immigration Clinic and an Immigration Clinic lawyer will provide you will provide you with initial advice and, if appropriate, legal representation.
If you are Stopped or Arrested by ICE or Border Patrol
- Identify yourself with your name.
- Do not answer any more personal questions.
- Do not sign any papers.
- Say that you want to speak to a lawyer.
- If they attempt to search you, your car, your home, or your belongings, say that you DO NOT consent to the search.
- If you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent, speak to a lawyer (do NOT sign anything before this), and make a call.
- Tell them if you have a medical condition that requires attention.
- Tell them if you have a child at home or school who needs care.
- Remain calm, act respectfully, but be firm and assert your rights.
- Create a plan for what to do if you or someone in your family is arrested. Carry a Know Your Rights card and important phone numbers (your lawyers, an immigrants’ rights organization, and your children’s school).
If Immigration Officers Come to Your Home
- Do not open your door until you know who is at your door.
- Do not let immigration officers into your home or dormitory even if they show you a “Warrant for Arrest of an Alien” issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
- DHS and ICE warrants not NOT authorize officers to enter your home or dormitory. Politely ask the officers to leave a business card outside your door and ask them to leave. Call a lawyer.
- If immigration officers have an “Arrest Warrant” or a “Search and Seizure Warrant” issued by a United States District Court, ask the officers to slip the document under your door or through the mail slot so that you can review it. Call a lawyer before opening the door.
- If officers force their way into your home, do not resist, but tell the officers you do not consent to their entrance, refuse to answer questions, and say you want to speak to a lawyer.
- Make sure everyone who lives in your home understands what to do if immigration officers come to your door.
- Carry a Know Your Rights card and important phone numbers (your lawyers, an immigrants’ rights organization, and your children’s school).