Know Your Rights

Community Legal Education

As part of its comprehensive approach to serving the legal-related needs of the low-income immigrant community, CASA performs outreach to inform low-wage workers, domestic workers and tenants about their rights.  These trilingual (English, Spanish, and French) “know your rights” trainings are held at strategic locations throughout Maryland including workers’ centers, street corners where workers gather, tenant association meetings, community centers and other places where immigrant community members gather.  CASA’s “know your rights” trainings utilize popular education materials, developed in-house, to inform community members of their rights as workers and tenants, as well as their rights if they are involved in an immigration raid.  CASA has also designed education materials specifically for domestic workers and victims of human trafficking and is leading a raid response community education campaign aimed at educating affected communities about their rights and what to do if they are detained.  More detail on CASA’s raid response campaign can be found below.

Download Know Your Rights Booklet below

KYR – Español

KYR – English

KYR – Arabic

Download KYR Card 

Political Context Political Context

On November 8, 2016 Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. Mr. Trump has pledged to enact tough and unjust immigration policies, including increasing efforts to enforce certain arrest warrants. Mr. Trump will not become president until January 20, 2017, and we will not know until after that time what he will do. This could include:

  • There could be more immigration officer raids (ICE) and other apprehension efforts
  • Programs that benefit immigrants, such as DACA, can be terminated
  • It may be more difficult (or dangerous) to apply for immigration benefits
  • It may be more difficult to travel to the United States from other countries

Regardless of what Mr. Trump has promised, there are some limits on what he can do. All persons living in the United States, regardless of their immigration status, have certain rights and protections guaranteed by the Constitution. These rights ensure that you do not have to give information to the police or immigration officials who might hurt you and protect you from the illegal invasion of your home by the police or immigration officials.

On November 8, 2016 Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. Mr. Trump has promised to enact harsh and unfair immigration policies, including increased enforcement efforts. Mr. Trump will not actually become president until January 20, 2017, and we will not know until after that time what he will do. This might mean:

  • More raids by immigration officers (ICE) and other targeted enforcement efforts
  • Programs that benefit immigrants, like DACA, may be terminated
  • It may be more difficult (or dangerous) to apply for immigration benefits
  • It may be more difficult to travel to the US from other countries

Regardless of what Mr. Trump has promised, there are some limits on what he can do.  All people living in the United States, regardless of immigration status, have certain rights and protections guaranteed by the Constitution.  These rights guarantee that you do not have to give information to police or immigration officials that might hurt you and protect you from unlawful invasion of your home by police or immigration officials.

 


Basic Rights

Right to remain silent

  • You always have the right to remain silent. Any information you give to the police or immigration officials may be used against you.
  • If you are arrested by police or ICE officers, tell them that you are exercising your right to remain silent and give them your “Right to remain silent” card. A copy of this card is in the Know Your Rights Guide that accompanies this document.

Right to Remain Silent

  • You always have the right to remain silent. Any information you give to police or immigration officials can be used against you.  
  • If you are arrested by the police or ICE officers, tell them that you are exercising your right to remain silent and give them your Right to Remain Silent Card.  A copy of this card is in the Know Your Rights Guide that goes with this document.


Protection from illegal searches and arrests in your home

  • Police or immigration officers who come to your home looking to arrest someone they think lives there must have a WARRANT signed by a JUDGE . If the police or ICE officers come to your home, you must demand to see a court order before letting them in.
  • DO NOT OPEN YOUR DOOR or give them any information. Have them pass the court order under the door and verify that it is a valid court order. There are examples of a valid court order and an invalid order in the Know Your Rights Guide that accompanies this document.
  • Police or immigration officers who come to your home looking to arrest someone who they think lives there must have a WARRANT signed by a JUDGE . If police or ICE officers come to your home, you should demand to see a warrant before letting them in.  
  • DO NOT OPEN YOUR DOOR or give them any information .  Ask them to slide the warrant under the door and check to make sure it is a valid warrant. There are examples of a valid warrant and an invalid warrant in the Know Your Rights Guide that goes with this document.

Who is at risk of being arrested by ICE? / Who is at risk of being arrested by ICE?

Anyone who lives in the United States without authorization (“undocumented”) risks being deported. Some immigrants are at greater risk than others. Some of the most at risk are:

  • Persons who have previous deportation orders. Many people have deportation orders and maybe they do not even know it. If you were arrested at the border or told to go to immigration court but never showed up, you are likely to have a deportation order.
  • People who have been arrested. If you have ever been arrested and fingerprinted, you are most at risk of having an arrest warrant

Anyone who is not a citizen of the United States must develop a security plan in the event of being arrested by ICE. Information on how to develop security plans is available in the Know Your Rights Guide that accompanies this document.

Anyone who is living in the United States without authorization (“undocumented”) is at risk of being deported. Some immigrants are more at risk than others. Some of those who are at higher risk are:

  • People who have prior deportation orders . Many people have deportation orders and may not even know it. If you were detained at the border or shown to immigration court, but never showed up, it is likely that you have a deportation order.
  • People who have been arrested . If you have ever been arrested and had your fingerprints taken, you are at higher risk for immigration enforcement.

Anyone who is not a US citizen should develop a Safety Plan in case they are arrested by ICE.  Information about how to develop Safety Plans is available in the Know Your Rights Guide that goes with this document.


What does it mean if I have an old deportation order? What does it mean if I have an old deportation order?

If you have a deportation order, or if you were previously deported and returned to the United States without permission, ICE can deport you quickly and without the protections offered to people who do not have deportation orders . For example, if you have a deportation order against you, you usually do not have the right to fight your case in an immigration court.

If you think you might have a deportation order, because you were supposed to go to the immigration court but it was not, you can call the Immigration Hotline at 1-800-898-7180 to get information about your case. You will need to know your “foreign number” beginning with “A” and followed by 8 or 9 digits (for example 123-456-789 or 012-345-678). The number is in any document you have received from immigration (such as a letter, work permit, green card, etc.)

If you have a deportation order, or if you were previously deported and came back to the US without permission, ICE can deport you quickly and without the protections offered to people who do not have deportation orders . For example, if you have a deportation order against you, you do not usually have the right to fight your case in immigration court.  

If you think you might have a deportation order, because you were supposed to go to immigration court but did not go, you can call the Immigration Court Hotline at 1-800-898-7180 to get information about your case. You will need to know your “Alien Number” Which will Begin with an “A” and be followed by Either 8 or 9 digits ( ex. 123-456-789 or “012-345-678”). The number will be on any documents you have ever received from immigration (like a letter, your work permit, your green card, etc.)


What if I’ve been arrested? What if I’ve been arrested?

If you have ever been arrested, you are at greater risk of being deported. Even if you have valid immigration status – such as a green card, TPS, or other status – your criminal history may be grounds for deportation. If you are undocumented, your arrest could make it a higher priority for deportation enforcement, including raids on your home or workplace. You should consult with an immigration attorney about your situation.

If you have ever been arrested, you are at a higher risk of deportation. Even if you have valid immigration status – like a green card, TPS, or other status – your criminal history might make you deportable. If you are undocumented, your arrest might make you a higher priority for immigration enforcement, including raids at your home or workplace. You should consult with an immigration attorney about your situation.


What do I do if a family member, friend, is arrested by ICE? / What do I do if I care about ICE?

First, get as much information as you can about what happened to the person. If you are in ICE detention, you can go online to www.locato r.ice.gov to try to find out where you are. Once you know where you are, you can get contact information for the detention center at www.ice.gov/detention-facilities .

First, get all the information you have about what happened the person. If you are in ICE detention you can go online to www.locator.ice.gov to try to find out where they are. Once you know where they are, you can get contact information for the detention center at www.ice.gov/detention-facilities .


Will I automatically receive a lawyer if ICE is arrested? /  Will I automatically get a lawyer if I get arrested by ICE?

Unlike most criminal cases, the federal government will not provide you with an attorney for the immigration court. However, there are some organizations that help some people with immigration cases and there are private attorneys who offer you representation in the immigration court for a fee. Contact your CASA office for information on these organizations and lawyers.  The CASA number is 301-431-4185.

DO NOT.  Unlike in most criminal cases, the government will not provide you with a lawyer for immigration court. There are some organizations that help some people with immigration cases, though, and there are private attorneys who will represent you in immigration court for a fee.  Contact your CASA office to get information about these organizations and attorneys.  The phone number for CASA is 301-431-4185 .

Raid Response

Providing both the urgent and intense assistance requested by community members immediately following a raid, as well as the longer-term and more complex assistance with issues that surface over time requires a substantial investment of time and resources.  CASA is one of few organizations in the DC region with the legal expertise to respond to the civil rights violations that have occurred in recent immigration raids, such as CASA’s current case against ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) for racial discrimination during a January 2007 raid.  As the “go-to” organization for immigrants in Maryland, CASA is committed to providing a comprehensive raid response program, which has been recognized by its national allies as a “best practices” model to respond to immigration raids. The raid response program includes the following components: Community education materials including the following

  • Educational Materials: Protect Yourself from Immigration Raids, March 2007 (A Collaboration of CASA of Maryland, Inc., Detention Watch Network, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyer’s Guild)
  • Educational Materials: How do we find them in MD, DC and VA? (Locating a detained person in the Greater Capital Region) A Collaboration of CASA of Maryland, Inc., Detention Watch Network, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyer’s Guild)
  • Public awareness and media coverage, including educating the broader public about immigration raids and their impact on families and communities.  CASA is committed to garnering media coverage that puts a human face on the raids and highlights the use of raids as a result of the failure of comprehensive immigration reform.
  • Legal assistance and counseling for victims of raids and their families, including visiting community members in detention centers, securing pro-bono legal representation, and assisting families in obtaining bond funds.
  • Impact litigation and advocacy and the local, state and federal levels, including challenging practices used in raids and pressuring local officials to put an end to raids in their communities.
  • Establishment and participation in a statewide network of service providers, advocates, legal services providers, faith, and labor groups to ensure that groups are able to respond to immigration raids as they happen, by providing the basic legal, humanitarian, and social services necessary for detainees and their families.  CASA staffs the Statewide Coordination Committee which is divided into four teams according to geographic area: Metro Maryland, Frederick and North Maryland, Eastern Shore, and Baltimore and Anne Arundel.