Emotions and fears are heightened for immigrants in the US recently because of Trump’s vows to deport millions. Former president Obama deported millions while he served, but a large percentage of those people committed crimes. Trump has flip flopped in his stance of who exactly he would be deporting. But there has been recent reports of people facing deportation including those who would be protected under a U visa (a victim of a violent crime in the US) and a man protected under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). There are talks of ending the DACA program altogether. No wonder why immigrants are scared in the US. That doesn’t mean they are without rights.
Please read my immigrants misconceptions article to get more context and background.
If an ICE agent or policeman is at your door, don’t answer it unless they have a warrant to search your house or arrest you. They don’t have the right to enter your house without some kind of warrant.
If you don’t have a valid license, don’t drive. A surprising amount of people get deported because they are driving and a routine police stop leads to endangerment. The policeman then discovers that they don’t have the proper documentation.
If an ICE agent is talking to you or detaining you, you have a right to not answer any questions and remain silent.
Don’t sign any documents that ICE agents hand you. You can be forfeiting your rights to be in this country, even if you have a green card.
Report any interaction you have. Take photos, make sure to get agent’s name and number, and license plate number.
Look for an immigration lawyer that will work for low fees. A good place to find these lawyers are in colleges. They may take on your case and provide legal counseling for free. If not, look for a Hispanic community center. They will likely have resources and information for you.
Tell your family and talk to your kids about their rights.
Remember, no human is illegal for existing.