Immigrant rights are human rights. A key objective of WICIR is to educate both immigrant and ally communities on knowing how to protect our immigrant neighbors from unjust immigration law enforcement.
We believe that all people, regardless of immigration status have the right to live a dignified right without fear or violence (physical, emotional, psychological, and systemic). We also believe that it’s important to provide immigrant communities with practical information how to respond/react when encountering a potentially dangerous legal situation and providing them with the necessary skills to defend themselves.
Below you’ll find some guidelines to remember when encountering Immigration or Law Enforcement.
Know how to respond:
- Do not lie or give false documents.
- Stay calm. Don’t run. Don’t argue, resist or obstruct the police, even if you are innocent or police are violating your rights. Keep your hands where an officer can see them.
- You have the right to remain silent and cannot be punished for refusing to answer questions. If you wish to remain silent, tell the officer out loud. In some states, you must give your name if asked to identify yourself.
- You do not have to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings, but police may “pat down” your clothing if they suspect a weapon. You should not physically resist, but you have the right to refuse consent for any further search. If you do consent, it can affect you later in court. You are under no obligation to provide any paperwork to officials, again, unless a warrant specifies.
- Ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, calmly and silently walk away. If you are under arrest, you have a right to know why.
- Do Not Sign Anything – unless you know what are are signing.
- You may decline a mobile fingerprint scan when presented with a scanner (as long as your are not named in a warrant).
- You have a right to speak with a lawyer. More information about how to prepare for an immigration arrest or detainment can be found at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center Advocate Library
- Protect Yourself From Immigration Raids” (in English)
- “Protéjase De Las Redadas De Inmegración” (en Español)
Michigan Immigrant Rights Center Advocate Library