The Difference Between a Judicial Warrant and an Administrative Warrant Used by ICE


The following is an explanation of the differences between a judicial and an administrative warrant by Susan Gottehrer, the Director of the Nassau County Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union. Both of these warrants are used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when attempting to enter a home, and so, it is crucial to understand what they are.

How to Prepare for an ICE Raid

The differences between a judicial and an administrative warrant are important. A judicial warrant is an official court document, usually with the designation of a specific court, and it is signed by a judge. This means that there has been due process backed by probable cause. These warrants pass constitutional muster.

This is a picture of a judicial warrant:

An administrative warrant is simply a document signed by an ICE agent, stating that a person is being designated for possible arrest and possible deportation proceedings. An administrative warrant is not signed by a judge, nor does it pass constitutional muster.

This is an administrative warrant:

And, after having asked to see the warrant, either passed under the door or shown through the window, you do not have to open the door if it is an administrative warrant. Technically, you are supposed to open the door if a judicial warrant is shown. Advocates are giving different advice on this, and some say you should just pretend you are not home.

If you do allow ICE into your home, no one else should speak, you should ask for a lawyer, and you should say “I do not choose to speak at this time.” Or prepare a card written in English saying you would like to speak to your attorney, and you do not wish to speak. Instruct all other family members not to answer the door, and not to speak if ICE enters the home.

Guide to Preparing for an ICE Raid


  1. You people realize, all the illegals who ICE is about to go after will have judicial warrants and they have already had their due process and are now trying to buck the system.. So BYE BYE illegals.. Bitch about it all you want, but these particular illegals have already had their due process and didn;t give a rats ass about it. they don;t deserve to be here and if you think they do, then you should just move to mexico with them.. just that simple.

      • That is the most igrorant thing I have ever heard. I hope one day some government agency trys to separate you from your family.. your hate and racisim make me absolutly sick and if this is what America has come to I will have no problem moving to Mexico… Adios puto…….

    • Its hilarious that you actually think all immigrants undocumented are from Mexico. That shows your ignorance. They come from all over the world. Canada,Europe, Central America etc… I hope you gained some brain cells since this was posted.

  2. James Johnson, they almost never have judicial warrants. As usual you don’t know what you are talking about.

  3. Show me what you have to back this up.. And right now, if you fail to appear for your court proceedings, which all these 2000 people have done that they are going after, GUESS WHAT???? You get a JUDICIAL WARRANT!! lol.. Learn the LAW and stop being a HUGE part of the problem..

    As for you saying “as usual, I don’t know what I’m talking about.” Considering this is my FIRST comment ever here, you;ve PROVEN you have no idea what YOU’RE talking about.. lolol..

  4. I concur with the lawyer here. The totality of evidence indicates that James Johnson is engaged in un-informed ranting and doesn’t have a clue what he is talking about. Given the nature of the ranting and the total cluelessness of his reply this appears to be habitual.