Know Your Rights and Family Preparedness Plan
Every family should have a Family Preparedness Plan. While it is our hope
that you never have to use your plan, it is a good practice to have one
in place to help reduce the stress of the unexpected. This packet will
help everyone create a Family Preparedness Plan, regardless of immigration
status. However, because of the additional challenges immigrant and mixed
status families face, we also have additional advice for immigrants.
Make a Child Care Plan
Have a plan so that a trusted adult can care for your child if you cannot.
This plan should include emergency numbers, a list of important contact
information, a Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit and a file with
Find Out About Your Immigration Options
- If you have a green card, find out if you can become a U.S. citizen.
- If you are here on a visa, find out if you can get a green card.
- If you do not have immigration status, find out if you may be eligible
to get a green card, visa or work permit.
- If you have a criminal arrest or conviction, find out how it might affect
your situation, or if there is a way to erase it from your record.
- If you are detained or put into deportation proceedings, ask for a hearing
in front of a judge to get out of detention and to fight your deportation.
For more information contact our law firm.
Know Your Rights
Everyone – both documented and undocumented persons – have
rights in this country. Make sure you, your family members (even children),
housemates, neighbors, and co-workers, regardless of their immigration
status, know of their right to remain silent and all of their other rights
if ICE or the police come to your home, neighborhood or workplace.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if the police or law enforcement agents come to question me?
- Beyond giving your name and address, you are not obligated to talk to the
police, FBI, ICE, or any other law enforcement agent or investigator.
- You do not have to let police or other law enforcement agents into your
home or office unless they have a search warrant. Request to see the warrant!
Without an official search warrant issued by the court, you should not
be afraid to say that you want to consult an attorney before speaking
to authorities. However, do not try to physically interfere with the police
or agents, even if the search is illegal, or you will likely be arrested.
- If the police show you a valid search warrant ask if you are allowed to
watch the search and if so, watch and take notes including names, badge
numbers, and from what agency the officer comes. Have friends act as witnesses
and give this information to your lawyer.
- If the police stop you on the street, ask why you are being detained and,
if you are not under arrest, walk away freely.
- Anything you say to the police, FBI, ICE, or any other law enforcement
agency or investigator can be used against you. Avoid having a conversation
with a police officer or law enforcement agent and do not respond to his
or her accusations.
- If you are nervous and cannot speak, tell the agent to contact an attorney.
He or she must stop asking you questions the moment you announce your
desire to have him or her consult your attorney.
What if I am not a citizen?
- You do not have to reveal your immigration status or answer any questions.
- Foreign nationals arrested in the United States have the right to call
their consulate or to have the police contact their consulate about their
arrest. (Non-citizens who are victims of domestic violence must speak
to an expert in both immigration law and domestic abuse law.)
- Do not speak to ICE, even over the telephone, before speaking to an immigration attorney.
Every non-citizen, independent of their immigrant status, has the following rights:
- The right to speak to an attorney before answering or signing anything;
- The right to a hearing before an immigration judge;
- The right to have an attorney at the hearing and at any interview with
the immigration service (however, non-citizens do not have a right to
a government-paid attorney);
- The right to ask for release from detention by paying a bond if you qualify