Ways to Protect Yourself as an Immigrant

Immigration lawyers around the country are now recommending that immigrants, especially those without legal status, carry with them at all times physical proof of continuous presence in the United States for the prior two years. This will help protect them against being subject to Expedited Removal.

Proof can be any document that has the person’s name and a date. Examples are birth certificates of their children, bank statements, bills or contracts.

Expedited Removal is an immediate order to leave the country without a hearing, review, or opportunity to apply to stay in the United States, unless the person expresses fear of persecution. In that case the person is given a “credible fear interview” to determine whether he or she may apply for asylum.

People have the right to request an attorney. Individuals subject to Expedited Removal generally are not informed of their right to an attorney. They are also not provided enough opportunity to contact an attorney that can help them challenge the charges against them or present evidence that is not with them at the time they are detained.

It is important that people don’t carry proof of foreign citizenship and that they remember their right to remain silent.

Source: Edited content originally created by Nora Phillips