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Know Your Immigration Rights

By: Tolani Law May 15, 2017 no comments

Know Your Immigration Rights

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Encounters with Immigration or Police Officers

Regardless of your immigration status, you have certain basic rights under the U.S. Constitution. If you encounter immigration, police or other law enforcement officers, here are some suggestions on how you can protect your rights.

If immigration or police officers stop you on the street:

You have the right to remain silent. You may refuse to speak to officers.

  • Stay calm - don’t run, don’t argue, don’t resist.
  • You don’t have to say where you were born, how you entered the U.S., or if you are a U.S. citizen.
  • You have the right to say, “I need to speak to my lawyer.”
  • If they ask for permission to search you or your things, you can refuse.

Carry a know-your-rights card and show it if an officer stops you.

  • The card explains that you will remain silent and that you wish to speak with an attorney.  Download this card: Know Your Rights Card

If you are asked about your Immigration status, you have the right to remain silent.

  • You don’t have to say where you were born, how you entered the U.S., or if you are a U.S. citizen.
  • Carry any valid immigration documents that you have, such as a valid work permit or green card, in case the officer requests it or you need it for identification purposes.
  • Do not carry any foreign papers with you, such as a foreign passport. These papers could be used against you in the deportation process.
  • Do not lie about your U.S. citizenship status or show fake documents.

 

If immigration or police officers come to your house:

You do not have to open your door, unless the officer shows you a valid warrant.

  • The warrant must be signed by a judge and have your correct name and address on it.
  • Ask the officer to slide the warrant under the door or hold it up against a window.
  • Even if the officer has a warrant, you have the right to remain silent.

Before you get detained by immigration officers:

Create a back-up plan:

  • Memorize the phone number of a friend, family member, or attorney that you can call if you are arrested.
  • Keep important documents (birth certificate, immigration documents, “A” number etc.) in a safe place where a friend or family member can find them if necessary.

If you are arrested by immigration officers:

  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • You also have the right to an attorney, but immigration will not provide one. However, they can provide you with a list of free or low-cost legal services.
  • Before you sign anything, talk to a lawyer. Otherwise, you could be signing away your rights.

 How your family can find you if are arrested by immigration officers:

  • They can use the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Online Detainee Locator System to search for records of adults, 18 years of age or older, who are in immigration custody. Locator system can be found here:

https://locator.ice.gov/odls/homePage.do

  • They can call the local ICE office. Make sure they have your alien registration number written down, if you have one. Field office phone numbers can be found here:

https://www.ice.gov/contact/ero#fieldOffice

 

Click here to read complete posts:

https://www.nilc.org/issues/immigration-enforcement/everyone-has-certain-basic-rights/

https://www.aclu.org/files/kyr/MKG17-KYR-PoliceImmigrationFBI-OnePager-English-v01.pdf

 

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