Everybody who resides in the U.S. holds certain rights that the U.S. Constitution guarantees, no matter what your immigration status holds. Although you as an immigrant and a resident of America cannot always control whether you will come into contact with immigration or law enforcement, it is essential to inform yourself of the rights you hold and practice the worst-case scenarios in order to prepare you, your friends, family, and colleagues, for any type of situation. You need to understand what your fundamental rights are and how to use them in order to advocate for yourself and give the appropriate response if you encounter the police or immigration enforcement as an immigrant. No matter who is the current president of the U.S., everybody who lives in the U.S. has certain basic rights. Although our current president has repeatedly stated anti-immigrant agendas during his campaign, even undocumented immigrants have certain basic rights under the Constitution. It is essential for immigrants to all assert and protect your basic rights.
If you as an immigrant ever find yourself dealing with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in any type of setting, remember that you have these rights and that you can assert them. Sometimes asserting your rights or even filing a case as an immigrant to change your status may require legal aid. The Law Office of Frederic E. Waczewski, P.A. has over a decade of experience dealing with business and immigration law. We aim to protect your rights as an immigrant and to guide you through what can be a complicated process when involved in immigration issues. As an immigration and business lawyer Orlando residents trust, we can help you assert your rights as an immigrant and fight for your case. Call the Law Office of Frederic E. Waczewski, P.A. today for a free initial consultation so we can fight for your rights as an immigrant.
Your Rights As An Immigrant
The United States Constitution guarantees certain basic rights to immigrants within the U.S. whether or not they have documentation. It is important for you as an immigrant to know your basic rights in different types of scenarios and when dealing with immigration officials. Make sure that you and all of your family members know about these rights, and practice what to do in a situation where you will need to exercise them. It is important to be prepared in order to reduce panic, which can worsen the situation.
First of all, when confronted with immigration officials or other kinds of law enforcement, you have the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer the questions of any immigration officer, and you are allowed to state to them that you wish to remain silent. You do not have to answer them about where you were born or how you entered the U.S. if you choose to remain silent. You should also carry a know-your-rights card and show it to the officer if an immigration officer happens to stop you. This card can be printed off any official website and explains that you will remain silent and that you wish to seek legal help through an attorney. You should know that you do not have to open your door to ICE officials unless they have a warrant.
In order to be allowed to enter your home without permission, ICE must have a warrant that has been court-ordered and signed by a judge. You do not have to open your door and let them in unless the ICE agent shows you a warrant. Keep in mind that ICE rarely has an official warrant, and you don’t have to let them in until they show you the warrant. If the ICE officer wants to show you the warrant while outside of your resident, they can hold it against a window so that you can read it, or slide it under the door. The warrant is only valid if it has your correct name and address. If you do not want to talk to the ICE agent or answer their questions, it is best to not let them in or open the door unless they have a warrant. This is because once you open the door, it is much more difficult to refuse to answer questions. Answering questions without legal counsel can be unhelpful in your case as an immigrant.
You Should Seek Legal Aid
As an immigrant, even if you are undocumented, you still have the right to call for an attorney. You can simply state that you need to contact your lawyer, and can choose to remain silent until your attorney is present. This is generally the wisest course of action, as your attorney will know how best to help you answer the questions of the immigration official in order to best build your case for staying in the U.S. It is your right ot have your lawyer present during the questioning process if ICE or any other law enforcement questions you. It is common for ICE or other law enforcement officials to tell you various things that may confuse you or attempt to have you sign away your right to see a lawyer or a judge. We at the Law Office of Frederic E. Waczewski, P.A. does not recommend that you sign any type of document they give you until you see a lawyer. Be sure you understand exactly what a document states before you sign it, and it is still wise to talk to a lawyer before signing anything.
As an immigrant, it is important and potentially convenient for you to carry around identification at all times. You should always have with you any valid immigration document you have, or at the very least a copy if you are afraid of losing it. For example, if you hold a valid work permit or permanent resident card, make sure to always have it with you in any type of scenario where you need to display your green card for identification purposes. It is best to avoid carrying papers from another country with you, such as a foreign passport, if you think you are at risk of deportation. Papers from a foreign country such as a foreign passport can be used against you during the deportation process. Remember that ICE and other law enforcement officers are human beings too, with the ability to emphasize. Moreover, there are provisions put in place for those with children in the U.S. If you are the parent or primary caregiver of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is a minor under the age of 18, ICE may “exercise discretion” and allow you to leave with no incident. Due to the fact that our sitting president has started his term with many anti-immigrant statements, there may be a rise in the number of ICE and other law enforcement officers who forget about the basic rights immigrants have under the Constitution. There might be more ICE and other law enforcement officers who think they will be able to get away with violating your rights as an immigrant. It is possible that ICE officers will lie to you in order to get you to open your door or sign away your rights. In such situations, you need to know what you should do. The Law Office of Frederic E. Waczewski, P.A., an immigration and business lawyer Miami residents trust, notes that if ICE detains you or you become concerned about possible raids being conducted in your area of residence, there are certain steps you can take.
Be Prepared and Informed
If you think that there may be compromising circumstances regarding your immigration status in the area that you reside in, there are certain steps you should take in order to ensure that you will be able to assert your rights as an immigrant. Firstly, you should memorize the phone number of a friend, family member, or attorney who you can call under the circumstance that you are arrested. If you are a caregiver of other people or of children, have a backup plan in the case that you are detained. Make sure to keep important documents such as birth certificates and immigration documents in a safe place where, when needed, a friend or family member can help you access them. If you think you may be detained by ICE, make sure your loved ones know how to find you. Let them know that they can locate you if you are detained through ICE’s online detainee locator in order to find an adult who is in immigration custody. They can also call the local ICE office. They should also have your alien registration written down, if you are in possession of one. If you feel it is safe and viable for you to do so, take photos and videos of the raid or arrest as well as notes on what happened.
Other Immigration Rights
There are many types of immigrants, and many safe paths into residency or citizenship in the U.S. This includes immigrants who are seeking various types of legal immigration, such as an EB-5 or L1 Visa. The EB-5 visa is one of the ways that immigrants can receive entrance into the U.S through investing in and creating capital and jobs for the U.S. economy. The Law Office of Frederic E. Waczewski, P.A. will ensure you receive your full rights as an immigrant and help you assert them in order to guide you through the visa process as well as if you encounter any problems. The L1 Visa is a visa for companies who are trying to send an employee in an managerial or executive position to the U.S. to assist in running their business. No matter what type of visa you have or what path you take to the United States, your basic rights under the constitution are the same, and if you are ever confronted by immigration officials or put in a compromising situation regarding your immigration status, it is important to seek legal help and know what to do.
Contact Us Today
The United States is a nation of immigrants, and the U.S. Constitution reflects this by providing certain basic rights that every immigrant coming into America can exercise, regardless of status. Whether you are seeking a path to citizenship or trying to obtain your green card, it is important for you to know your rights in immigration situations. In today’s climate, immigration has become tougher than ever and all immigrants should be prepared for different types of situations in their path to the U.S. If any situations with immigration officials do occur, you should be informed of your legal rights and know how to deal with the situation. It is always speak to an experienced immigration attorney when facing a legal case as well as in the process towards obtaining a visa. If you are seeking legal aid regarding your immigration status, the Law Office of Frederic E. Waczewski, P.A. is an immigration and business lawyer Orlando residents trust. Call us today for a free initial and begin your path to the U.S.