How Immigrants Can Protect Themselves During a Trump Presidency

February 2, 2017

Para leer en español, haga clic aquí.

During his first weeks as President, Donald Trump has enacted some alarming and draconian executive orders. The most alarming has been his executive orders attacking immigrants.

This executive action, among other things, affects deportation policy and priorities. One of the main things that this executive order does is broaden its definition of ‘priority’ for deportation (a priority is the people that the Department of Homeland Security focuses its resources to deport). Priorities now include anyone that has been accused of a crime, regardless if they were convicted or not, as well as anyone who has previously had an encounter with the immigration system.

This broad definition of a ‘priority’ has put millions of people under the threat of deportation. Which is why now, more than ever, it is important for immigrants to know and exercise their rights in case they were to come into contact with an immigration agents and local law enforcement.

Here are the rights that immigrants must know during a Trump presidency:

1) Do Not Open Your Doors

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) cannot come into your home without a warrant signed by an immigration court judge. With your door shut, ask them to slide the signed warrant under the door or push it up against a window. They cannot come in unless you let them.

2) Exercise Your Right To Remain Silent

I.C.E can and will use anything you say against you in court. It’s important for you to remain silent and ask to speak to your attorney. Simply tell the immigration officer: “I am exercising my fifth amendment right and choosing to remain silent until I speak to my attorney”.

3) Do Not Sign Anything Before Speaking to An Attorney

Many times, I.C.E. and Customs and Border Protection (C.B.P.) will attempt to trick and make you sign your own deportation. This is also known as a voluntary departure. Do NOT sign anything that they give you without first speaking to an attorney.

4) Record your Encounter

It’s important to take photos and record video on your phone unless you are on federal government property. Take detailed notes of badge numbers, amount of agents, time, type of cars they used, and exactly what happened. Reporting this information will help us determine if any rights violation was made on behalf of the immigration agency and help us expose their rouge, manipulative tactics that they use to round up and deport immigrants.

5) Report Your Encounter

United We Dream runs a hotline called the MigraWatch Hotline for people to report activity of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E), Customs and Border Protection (C.B.P), or any other immigration agencies. Report the activity by calling this hotline at 1-844-363-1423.  

6) Get Help

Get a trustworthy attorney and explore all options to fight your case. If detained, remember that you might be able to get bail – don’t lose hope. Visit our partners, IMMI, to find free or low-cost legal help near you.

7) Fight Back

Another way to fight back, is to join a community that has your back. As the largest immigrant youth-led network in the country, United We Dream has helped stop hundreds of deportations. Text HereToStay to 877877 to fight back alongside us.

Printed Resources

Use resources below to print out a print-friendly version of this page to tape on or near your door. That way, if an immigration officers approaches your home, you will be prepared and know what to do.

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