Know Your Rights as an Immigrant

Feb 14, 2017 | Green Cards

As a Miami immigration lawyer, I have been watching with increased alarm as reports of widespread immigration raids continue to filter in.  If you are an undocumented immigrant, a visa holder, or a green card holder, I would recommend that you keep the following in mind:

  1. If you have a visa holder, or a lawful permanent resident from one of the  countries affected by President Trump’s recent executive order, you may want to think twice before traveling outside the United States, as you may have issues getting back into the country. An appeals court decision struck down Mr. Trump’s executive order, but anecdotal ground reports point to DHS officials sporadically questioning and detaining arrivals. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.
  2.  Remember that the Constitution guarantees certain rights to all people living in the U.S., not just citizens. In the Bill of Rights, the first, fourth, and fifth amendments apply to everybody. It specifies that people should be safe in their homes. It offers protection against unreasonable searches. You have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney.
  3. If Immigration and Customs Enforcement or any law enforcement comes to your door, you do not have to open the door for them. Ask them if they have a warrant. If they say that they have a warrant, ask them to to see it. Ask them to slide it under the door or hold it up to the window to check if it’s a proper warrant that’s been signed by a judge. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration attorney.
  4. Any warrant must be signed by a judge, not a supervisor or fellow agent. If you open the door to let the agent in, it gives them the right to search the entire home and question everyone in the home.
  5.  Visa and green card-holders should plan ahead. Arrange for someone to take care of your children and your finances in case you get arrested. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.
  6. Carry a card that states you wish to exercise your right to remain silent for use in case you are interrogated by immigration/police officers. These cards are usually available from immigrant-rights organizations in your area. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.
  7. Always carry the name and the phone number of your Miami immigration lawyer, and/or an agency who will provide you with advice and other help in case the immigration/police detains you.
  8. Do not sign any document. If immigration/police tries to convince you to sign any document, you should refuse to do so. That document might allow them to deport you without giving you the opportunity to see an immigration advocate or your lawyer. Keep a receipt of any personal property that is confiscated. Again, if you have any questions in regard to this, you should speak with a Miami immigration attorney.
  9. Remember your rights. I cannot emphasize this enough. The following rights apply to all individuals, regardless of their immigration status:
  • The right to make a phone call
  • The right to speak to a lawyer
  • The right to say nothing unless your lawyer is present
  • The right to a hearing before an immigration judge (unless you have already have been issued an order of removal)

If you would like more information on your rights what to do case in case of an immigration raid, undocumented immigrants, visa holders, or green holders, please contact Miami immigration lawyer The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A., Esq. at (305) 895-2500 or visit our website at tmsilvalaw.com.