How to Protect Yourself as a Working Immigrant

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As a working immigrant, it can be challenging to know which demands to respond to by police and which to resist. Thankfully, there are common scenarios backed by-laws to keep in mind and establish justification for resistance. To help you navigate protecting yourself as a working immigrant, here are some legal situations to consider.

Right To Remain Silent 

While it is always possible that the future of immigration policy in the U.S. is subject to change, in the interim, there are certain protections that you are entitled to when the unexpected occurs. When it comes to encounters with the police, you are given the right to remain silent if a police officer or another official asks you for information about your citizenship status. 

It is important to remember that the information you give out may be used against you later in court, so it’s best to refuse to discuss your information with anyone but your immigration lawyer phoenix

Your Immigration Papers 

You have the right not to disclose your citizenship status if asked. However, if an officer requests your immigration papers, you are obligated to show them if they are with you. You might think that if you don’t have your immigration registration documents with you, that it would be a good thing, but, in these cases, it’s an issue if you’re over 18. 

Working immigrants must carry their immigration papers at all times. You may inform the officer that you will remain silent but be prepared to speak with a lawyer to plan after these encounters. You are not required to oblige any demands from officers to be searched— that includes your belongings and financial privacy. Without probable cause, you are protected under these civil rights. 

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Legal Services And Assistance 

You have the right to coordinate a legal services team that can create intake processes on your behalf, as well as provide workers assistance to others in similar situations where you work. You also have the right to immigration legal representation if you are detained. There may be free legal representation available in your area, such as the freedom initiatives in Tennessee. 

Right To Safety Planning 

In terms of the workplace, you need to keep your workplace prepared in the event of an immigration raid. Unfortunately, there are instances where officers and ICE officials surround places of work to send immigrants to jail and detention centers without warning. 

ICE workers may use unnecessary force to get immigrants to comply. To protect yourself during these times, you must establish a safety plan that allows you and your team to respond with your safety in mind. 

Part of this plan should include engaging nearby organizations and other community stakeholders who can work against these raids and provide sustainability where it is lacking. Establishing a safe space such as a church is immensely important as well.

Your Name And Vehicle Information 

Depending on your state, you may or may not be required to give your name if asked by authority. Other than giving your name, you do not have to answer any of the officers’ additional questions. If you are pulled over, you have to show your vehicle information, but anything else regarding your immigration status does not need to be answered.

Contact Local Immigration Resources  

To prepare for these common instances and encounters, check out the information provided on your local ACLU website. You will find articles on handling encounters with the police, border control, and other authorities. Although there are many uncertainties surrounding immigration, you can take matters to protect yourself by knowing how to respond in advance.  

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