What you can do if ICE asks for your papers

Im­mi­grants can uti­lize ba­sic rights, ad­vo­cates point out.

Austin American-Statesman - - MORE OF TODAY’S TOP NEWS - By Daniel Shoer Roth Tribune News Ser­vice

The anti-im­mi­grant MI­AMI — rhetoric and some de­ci­sions of the Don­ald Trump gov­ern­ment have re­vived the fear of im­mi­gra­tion raids and mass de­por­ta­tions. Re­cently, agents of the Of­fice of Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment raided dozens of 7-Eleven stores na­tion­wide on sus­pi­cion that they were hir­ing un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants.

And in South Florida, U.S. Bor­der Pa­trol agents stopped a Greyhound bus on the way to Or­lando and de­manded cit­i­zen­ship doc­u­men­ta­tion, tak­ing a Ja­maican cit­i­zen in cus­tody. In con­fronta­tions like those, whether in public spa­ces, places of em­ploy­ment or pri­vate homes, le­gal and un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants can ex­er­cise ba­sic con­sti­tu­tional rights in re­sponse to the au­thor­i­ties.

“These en­shrined rights are ap­pli­ca­ble to all peo­ple re­gard­less of their im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus and are a mus­cle that peo­ple should use,” said Ado­nia Simp­son, di­rec­tor of the Fam­ily De­fense pro­gram of Amer­i­cans for Im­mi­gra­tion Jus­tice, based in Mi­ami. How­ever, Simp­son said, that “does not guar­an­tee that the rights are not vi­o­lated; that im­mi­grants are not de­tained.”

The laws in­clude the right to re­main silent, the right to deny per­mis­sion to a search of your per­son, vehicle or home, and the right to ask for a lawyer.

What should you do when the au­thor­i­ties ask for your papers?

Keep silent: Ev­ery­one has the right to re­main silent by re­fus­ing to an­swer ques­tions. It is ad­vis­able to give your name and the date of birth, so that your rel­a­tives can eas­ily find you. But if you wish to ex­er­cise this right, say: “I ex­er­cise my right to re­main silent.”

Do not lie or sign: You do not have to an­swer ques­tions about place of birth or how you en­tered the coun­try, or give ex­pla­na­tions or ex­cuses. But never lie, claim­ing to be a U.S. cit­i­zen if not, or give false iden­tity doc­u­ments. Do not sign papers with­out le­gal ad­vice, or re­veal your im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus to any­one other than your lawyer.

Nat­u­ral­ized im­mi­grants: Nat­u­ral­ized im­mi­grants can in­form agents that they are cit­i­zens of the United States. In the­ory, cit­i­zens should not be de­tained by ICE, but if they can­not im­me­di­ately cor­rob­o­rate their cit­i­zen­ship sta­tus by pre­sent­ing a pass­port, voter’s card, nat­u­ral­iza­tion cer­tifi­cate and other ev­i­dence, then they can be taken to a de­ten­tion cen­ter.

Per­ma­nent res­i­dents: The experts rec­om­mend that per­ma­nent res­i­dents keep their im­mi­gra­tion doc­u­ments with them, such as the per­ma­nent res­i­dence card or green card. In the case of for­eign­ers with non-im­mi­grant visas, the I-94 card, em­ploy­ment au­tho­riza­tion or other valid doc­u­ment that proves the reg­is­tra­tion with the Cit­i­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion Ser­vice. If you do not have them, stay calm and re­main silent.

Mem­o­rize ID num­bers: This in­cludes the for­eign A # reg­is­tra­tion num­ber with a nine-digit se­ries and, if ar­rested, the prison iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber or name. Also mem­o­rize the tele­phone num­ber of a close rel­a­tive, any med­i­ca­tions you take, your cur­rent im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus and any crim­i­nal records.

Con­sult a lawyer: Be­fore an­swer­ing any ques­tions, you can im­me­di­ately ask for a lawyer. You are also en­ti­tled to a lo­cal call and to con­tact the con­sulate of your home coun­try.

Deny en­try to the home: If ICE agents ar­rive at your home, you do not have to open the door un­less they have a search or ar­rest war­rant. Ask them to pass the order un­der the door and ver­ify that it is signed by a judge. A de­por­ta­tion/re­moval order does not au­tho­rize en­try with­out per­mis­sion.

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