Being an immigrant in the United States is not easy (and being an immigrant in many other, especially European, countries is not easy either). This is why knowing the rights of immigrants is more than a necessity to them – it is a priority. Here is all you need to know about how immigrants are defending themselves by knowing their legal rights.

Importance of Knowing Your Rights

If you are an immigrant, knowing your legal rights is extremely important as it helps you to defend yourself in various situations. For example, if you happen to be discriminated based on your race and you know that you actually have a certain right, you will be able to prove it.

Immigrants will also be able to protect themselves from immigration raids that are quite frequent in some regions. You might feel unprotected in some countries that have stricter immigrant laws, so it is essential that you know your legal rights.

What to Do If You Don’t Know the Language

Some immigrants who don’t know the English language all that well can’t really get their hands on all the information they are looking for. This is why some of them have started using translation services to find and translate the information into the immigrants’ native language. Sometimes this is the best path to take.

But if you want to truly get integrated into the culture that you now live in, you will need to learn the languages of the country in which you are staying. It’s better to start doing it sooner rather than later and start learning the language from the very beginning.

The Legal Rights Immigrants Have

So, what legal rights do immigrants have? It actually doesn’t matter which status the immigrant has, because you have guaranteed rights under the constitution. Here are some scenarios that may play out at one moment or another:

  • Law Enforcement Asks About Your Status:

If a representative of law enforcement asks you about your immigration status, remain calm and don’t panic. Don’t lie and provide your documents even if you feel like your rights are being violated. You have the right to remain silent and not discuss your immigration status with police or other officials. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you will need to show your documents at the request of an immigration agent. However, you can decline their request to search you or your belongings.

  • You Have Been Stopped by The Police (Or ICE):

To prepare yourself for such an encounter, memorize the phone numbers of your family members and your lawyer so that you can use them in case of arrest. You can still remain silent and don’t need to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings. If you are arrested by police, you have the right to a government-appointed lawyer. If you are detained by ICE, you don’t have the right for a government-appointed lawyer (though you can still consult with your own lawyer).

  • Police (Or ICE) Are at Your Home:

You can keep the door closed and speak to them through the door. Opening it does not give them the right to come in. You can remain silent even if the officer has a warrant. You aren’t obliged to let them in unless they have certain types of warrants. Removal or deportation warrants do not grant them permission to come in, but arrest warrants allow them to come in if they believe you are home.

  • You Need A Lawyer:

In case you are arrested by the police, you have the right to a government-appointed lawyer (and you must immediately ask for one). You have the right for a private phone call. In case you are detained by Border Patrol or ICE, you do not have the right for a government-appointed lawyer, though you may hire your own. You have the right to call your lawyer and your family. Your lawyer can also visit you while you are in detention. You also have the right to be accompanied by your attorney during every hearing before an immigration judge.

  • You Have Been Detained by The Border Patrol:

If you have been detained by the Border Patrol near the border, you must never flee from the checkpoint, lie, or provide false documents. You may remain silent and don’t have to answer questions about your immigration status. Unless a Border Patrol agent has “reasonable suspicion” that you have committed or are committing a violation of federal or immigration laws, you cannot be detained. You also can’t be arrested without a “probable cause”. There must be clear facts that support the claim that you committed or are committing a violation of laws.

  • You Were Stopped While in Transit:

If you are traveling by car, immediately pull over, turn on the light, and turn off the engine. Place your hands onto the steering wheel and remain calm. You might be asked to show your documents for the car including insurance and driver’s license. Carry your immigration papers with you at all times as you might be requested to show them, and you will have to do that.

  • You Are Detained While Your Case Is in Progress:

If this happens, you are still eligible to be released on bond or with other reporting conditions. You can call your family and your lawyer. Your lawyer can also visit you and you have the right to be accompanied by your attorney at every hearing before an immigration judge. If you are denied release after the arrest, ask for a bond hearing. An immigration judge can often order for you to be released or for the bond to be lowered.

  • You Were Arrested and Might Be Deported:

In case you were arrested and need to challenge a deportation order, you have the right to a hearing for doing so. Alternatively, you can sign the “Stipulated Removal Order” or take voluntary departure. You also have the right to your own attorney.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the legal rights immigrants have allow for quite a lot of flexibility, so it is important for immigrants to know and understand their rights in order to be able to use this knowledge when necessary.

Anna is a specialist in different types of writing. She graduated from the Interpreters Department, but creative writing became her favorite type of work. Now she improves her skills while working as a freelance writer for Pick The Writer, Writing Judge to assist a lot of students all over the world and has free time for another work, as well. Always she does her best in the posts and articles.

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