Know Your Rights: Federal Immigration Enforcement

Last updated February 18, 2020.

Legal Services

The City has invested over $48 million in immigration legal services so that immigrant New Yorkers have access to case representation, emergency planning (such as parental designations and standby guardianship planning), and more.

ActionNYC is for every immigrant New Yorker. It offers free, safe immigration legal help in a network of trusted community organizations and schools, and can help connect you to free, safe immigration legal help in your community.

It is important to meet with an immigration attorney to learn more about your options and rights in an encounter with federal immigration enforcement.

You must make an appointment to receive services. To make an appointment, call 800-354-0365 between 9AM-6PM, Monday - Friday or call 311 and say "ActionNYC."

Know Your Rights with ICE Fact Sheets

If you are approached by federal immigration enforcement agents, such as ICE, be aware that you have rights. Download our fact sheet in multiple languages to learn more about what to do in an encounter with immigration enforcement.

Fact Sheet: Know Your Rights with ICE

English Infograpghic of getting asssitance by calling the hotline at 800-354-0365

Download this infographic in the following languages:


Bengali | বাঙালি

Chinese (Simplified) | 简化字

Haitian Creole | kreyòl ayisyen

Russian | русский

Spanish | Español

Punjabi | ਪੰਜਾਬ

Arabic | العربية

Nepali | नेपाली

Albanian | shqip

French | français

Korean | 한국어

Polish | Polskie

Portuguese | Português

Tagalog | tagalog

Urdu | اردو

Additional Resources

The Immigrant Defense Project has also developed materials on rights in encounters with federal immigration enforcement that we're sharing with the community:

For people looking for information after a raid, answers to frequently asked questions can be found in multiple languages from the New York Legal Assistance Group.

Know Your Rights Events

Know Your Rights (KYR) events are held across the city to help inform New Yorkers about their legal rights, including when interacting with federal immigration enforcement.

  • In 2018 alone, the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) conducted nearly 700 forums in immigrant communities.
  • Additionally, nine community organizations partner with MOIA to conduct KYRs across the city specifically about federal immigration enforcement.

Avoiding Fraud

Particularly in moments of fear, immigrant communities are vulnerable to immigration legal services fraud. New Yorkers can avoid fraud from scammers and notarios by consulting trusted and qualified immigration legal services providers. City-funded providers are available through ActionNYC by calling the hotline at 800-354-0365.

For more information about avoiding fraud, please visit our page here.

Immigrant Caregivers & Standby Guardianship

Immigrant caregivers can appoint a "standby guardian" to take care of their child, in case they are separated from their child through immigration arrest, detention, or deportation.

A "standby guardian" is a person who is acts as a "backup" caregiver in case the primary caregiver is unable to take care of the child because they are arrested or detained by immigration authorities or deported. You can find help designating a "standby guardian" through ActionNYC by calling the hotline at 800-354-0365.

For more information about standby guardianship, please visit our Immigrant Caregivers page.