Phone: 212-461-1467

Know Your Rights

  • You have the right to remain silent.  In certain states you must to identify yourself.  Make your right to remain silent known.  It is not enough to just remain silent.  You must state that, “You are invoking your right to remain silent.”
  • You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car or your home.If you are NOT under arrest, you have the right to calmly leave.You have the right to a lawyer if you are arrested. Ask for one immediately.Regardless of your immigration or citizenship status, you have constitutional rights.
  • Ask to speak to a lawyer.  If you see a judge before you have time to talk to a lawyer ask the judge to give you more time so that you can speak to a lawyer.
  • Do not sign any papers without first talking to a lawyer.
  • Write down the name and telephone number of the deportation officer assigned to your case, ifpossible.
  • Do not sign any papers stating that you will take “voluntary departure” before speaking to a lawyer.
  • Do not assume that the Judge or Immigration Officer will give you the right information.  Alwaystalk to a lawyer before you make any decisions.
  • Be truthful when talking to a Lawyer, Judge or an Immigration Officer.  When speaking to yourlawyer make sure to tell your lawyer if you have been arrested or convicted for a crime.  This way, your lawyer can give you the best legal advice.
  • You have the right to call a lawyer or your family if you are detained.  You have the right to be visited by a lawyer in detention.
  • You have the right to contact your consulate.  You can ask an officer for the number to your consulate.  In certain cases, your consulate may help you to obtain a lawyer.

 

YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Do stay calm and be polite.Do not interfere with or obstruct the police.
  • DO NOT LIE OR GIVE FALSE DOCUMENTS.
  • Do prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested.
  • Do remember the details of the encounter

IF YOU ARE STOPPED IN YOUR CAR

  1. Stop the car in a safe place as quickly as possible. Stay calm. Don’t run.
  2. Upon request, show police your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance.
  3. If an officer or immigration agent asks to look inside your car, you can refuse to consent to the search. But if police believe your car contains evidence of a crime, your car can be searched without your consent.
  4. Both drivers and passengers have the right to remain silent. If you are a passenger, you can ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, sit silently or calmly leave. Even if the officer says no, you have the right to remain silent.

IF YOU ARE QUESTIONED ABOUT YOUR IMMIGRATION STATUS

You have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status with police, immigration agents or any other officials. You do not have to answer questions about where you were born, whether you are a U.S. citizen, or how you entered the country. (SEPARATE RULES APPLY AT INTERNATIONAL BORDERS AND AIRPORTS, AND FOR INDIVIDUALS ON CERTAIN NONIMMIGRANT VISAS, INCLUDING TOURISTS AND BUSINESS TRAVELERS.)

 

IF YOU ARE NOT A U.S. CITIZEN AND AN IMMIGRATION AGENT REQUESTS YOUR IMMIGRATION PAPERS, YOU MUST SHOW THEM IF YOU HAVE THEM WITH YOU. If you are over 18, carry your immigration documents with you at all times. If you do not have immigration papers, say you want to remain silent.

DO NOT LIE ABOUT YOUR CITIZENSHIP STATUS OR PROVIDE FAKE DOCUMENTS.

IF THE POLICE OR IMMIGRATION AGENTS COME TO YOUR HOME

If the police or immigration agents come to your home, you do not have to let them in unless they have certain kinds of warrants.

IF YOU ARE ARRESTED

Do NOT resist arrest, even if you believe the arrest is unfair.

Say you wish to remain silent and ask for a lawyer immediately. Don’t give any explanations or excuses. If you can’t pay for a lawyer, you have the right to a free one. Don’t say anything, sign anything or make any decisions without a lawyer.

You have the right to make a local phone call. The police cannot listen if you call a lawyer.

Prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested. Memorize the phone numbers of your family and your lawyer. Make emergency plans if you have children or take medication.

IF THE POLICE OR IMMIGRATION AGENTS COME TO YOUR HOME

If the police or immigration agents come to your home, you do not have to let them in unless they have certain kinds of warrants.

Always ask to inspect the warrant. A search warrant allows police to enter the address listed on the warrant, but officers can only search the areas and for the items listed. An arrest warrant allows police to enter the home of the person listed on the warrant if they believe the person is inside. A warrant of removal/deportation (ICE warrant) does not allow officers to enter a home without consent.

Even if officers have a warrant, you have the right to remain silent. If you choose to speak to the officers, step outside and close the door.

IF YOU ARE TAKEN INTO IMMIGRATION (OR “ICE”) CUSTODY

You have the right to a lawyer, but the government does not have to provide one for you. If you do not have a lawyer, ask for a list of free or low-cost legal services.

You have the right to contact your consulate or have an officer inform the consulate of your arrest.

Tell the ICE agent you wish to remain silent. Do not discuss your immigration status with anyone but your lawyer.

Do not sign anything, such as a voluntary departure or stipulated removal, without talking to a lawyer. If you sign, you may be giving up your opportunity to try to stay in the U.S.

Remember your immigration number (“A” number) and give it to your family. It will help family members locate you.

Keep a copy of your immigration documents with someone you trust.

 

KNOW YOUR SAFETY PLAN 

  1. Obey traffic and criminal laws and carry a valid state ID and/or work permit: Do not carry any false/fraudulent documents that do not correspond to your identity. If arrested for any reason, consult an immigration attorney prior to pleading guilty.
  2. Practice your response if confronted by immigration authorities: All people have the right to remain silent. If stopped or arrested, you do not have to answer an immigration agent’s questions. If an immigration agent knocks on your door and does not have a warrant, do not open the door.
  3. Create a safety plan in case you are arrested and/or detained by immigration:
  • Identify your emergency contact and memorize their phone number
  • Memorize your A number and give it to your emergency contact
  • Provide your child’s school or day care with the emergency contact name and phone number and provide authorization for the emergency contact to pick up your child
  • Provide authorization for your emergency contact to make medical and legal decisions for your child
  • Keep your passport, identity information, proof of physical presence in the U.S. and financial information in a safe location. Make sure your emergency contact can access them.

 

DISCLAIMER:

ALL COMMENTS AND/OR OPINIONS ARE FOR GENERAL INFORMATION, AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS LEGAL ADVICE. IN ADDITION ANY COMMENTS AND/OR OPINIONS DO NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. IN ORDER TO OBTAIN A COMPREHENSIVE AND ACCURATE LEGAL OPINION YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN ATTORNEY WITH THE SPECIFIC AND DETAILED FACTS OR YOUR CASE/QUESTION.