Know Your Rights: Protect Your Immigration Status
The right to remain silent
If you are arrested, you have the right not to answer the questions of law enforcement officials. Do not lie. Do not say anything except “I need to speak with my attorney.”
If you are arrested… DON’T
- Don’t reveal to the agents or to the government anything about your immigration status.
- Don’t lie.
- Don’t give the officials false documents.
- Don’t turn in documentation from another country (if you do, the government can use this information in order to deport you).
- Don’t sign any documents without talking
with an attorney.
If you are arrested… DO
- Find out who arrested you.
- Speak with an attorney or with someone who can give you legal advice.
- Speak with your consulate.
- Ask for bail.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE POLICE OR IMMIGRATION COMES TO YOUR WORKPLACE?
Immigration officials should have a search warrant signed by a judge or the authorization of the employer in order to enter your workplace. If you work on public property, the officials do not need the warrant. Stay calm. Do not try to run or flee because this may be interpreted as an admission of guilt or that you have something to hide.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE POLICE OR IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS DETAIN YOU ON THE STREET OR IN A PUBLIC PLACE?
If an immigration official detains you on the street without authorization, he cannot arrest you unless he has proof that you are not a citizen. Do not reveal to Immigration either your immigration status or where you were born. Also, do not carry any documentation from your home country.
This information was prepared using
materials produced by:
CASA de Maryland
Detention Watch Network
National Immigration Project
of the National Lawyers Guild