The current political climate has made futures less certain for many immigrants in the United States. In 2017 we have seen an increase in investigations and arrests of immigrants by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) police and the FBI.
Now more than ever, it is vital for immigrants to understand what to do or not do if they are stopped by immigration officials or the police. No matter your immigrant status, remember you have rights.
The focus of ICE efforts hasn’t just been those who are here unlawfully, but also those who pose a threat to public safety, who have been charged with criminal offenses, who have committed multiple immigration violations.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has created one-page “Know Your Rights” information sheets to help when dealing with ICE, the FBI or law enforcement. The information is available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, Indonesian, Korean, Somali, Spanish, Urdu and Vietnamese. Highlights from the ALCU information sheet are listed below.
- Stay calm. Don’t argue, run, resist arrest or obstruct the police.
- Do not lie about your citizenship status or provide fake documents.
- You have the right to remain silent. Let the ICE or police officer know you are exercising this right.
- Before you let officers inside your home, ask to see a warrant signed by a judge.
- You do not have to answer questions about where you were born, your citizenship status or how you entered the United States
- Ask for an interpreter if you don’t understand what is said or documents that are given to you.
- You have the right to a lawyer. Don’t sign anything or make any decisions without your attorney present.