The situation can be confusing and stressful if you or someone in your family is stopped or arrested by law enforcement officers. While this is true, it’s important to remain calm and take the right steps to protect your freedom.
Knowing your legal options and rights is a big part of this. Immigrants, just like U.S. citizens, have legal rights, and knowing these may help you maintain your immigration status and your ability to stay in the country.
Your legal rights when speaking to the authorities
It doesn’t matter if you talk to the local police or immigration officers; you have rights. For example, you can exercise your right to remain silent. If you aren’t a U.S. citizen, it may be necessary to provide your immigration papers, but this doesn’t mean you have to consent to a search of your person or property or say anything that may incriminate you in some way.
Understanding what defenses undocumented immigrants have
Even undocumented immigrants have rights. There are viable defense options for nondocumented immigrants who are arrested. While this is true, you should never be combative with the authorities. You will have time to go to court and plead your case in most situations, and at this time, you can use defenses, such as your standing in the community and tax payment history, to show why you should not be deported.
Protecting your loved one’s right to remain in the country
If you want the best case to help your loved one remain in the country after being arrested by the local authorities or ICE, you must act immediately. It’s also important to know your legal rights and exercise these to protect yourself or your family member.