My Home was Robbed and the Possible Suspect is an Illegal Immigrant, Can I Report this Person to INS/ICE? Does this Person Have the Same Rights as a Legal Citizen?

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“There is a housekeeping agency in my neighborhood which claims that they have done background checks on all the girls they send out for employment. As it turns out, the majority of the girls are illegals and therefore extensive background checks are impossible. Recently, my home was robbed. The police agree that it was an inside job. However, they are being overly cautious confronting this individual because, they claim, that she has rights, even though she is an illegal. My question is: Do I have the right to report her to the INS and do I have the right to report the agency to the INS so that they will prevent the agency from further hiring illegals?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

You have two questions here. First, do undocumented workers have the same rights as US citizens? Under the US Constitution, many basic rights are extended to “persons” regardless of their immigration status. Those rights include the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, and the Fifth Amendment’s due process requirements. Law enforcement agencies must respect those rights because any improper behavior by law enforcement could make it impossible to get a conviction.

Second, do you have a right to report a suspected “illegal” immigrant? Yes, you do. You can contact the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (used to be called the INS, now it’s “ICE”) department, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security? You can do so via their toll-free tip line, 1-866-DHS-2ICE, or by contacting your local/regional ICE office, which can be found at

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Author: Ray Everett-Church, Esq.

Ray Everett-Church is a privacy and security consultant with PrivacyClue LLC and is co-author of "Internet Privacy for Dummies"