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Fearful Immigrants Are Offered Anti-Deportation Training

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March 12,20017

Don’t open the front door if immigration officials knock. If you are taken into custody, tell them your name and nothing else. Definitely don’t sign anything.

That is some of the advice being given in New York City and around the country at training sessions, put on by advocacy organizations, aimed at helping immigrants living in the country illegally get in as little trouble as possible if they encounter U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

Called “know your rights” training, the sessions have been pushed by some groups as a way to prepare for a possible crackdown on illegal immigration under President Donald Trump. Similar trainings are scheduled in New Mexico and El Paso.

The idea, organizers said, is to give immigrants guidance on how to legitimately push back against attempts to detain them, mostly using tactics designed to keep agents from learning anything they don’t already know. The government can’t deport someone unless they can prove they are in the U.S. illegally.

Even people in the country illegally have constitutional rights, Mendez said, such as not being subjected to unreasonable searches and seizures, not answering questions and not signing any documents without speaking with an attorney.

A lady sitting at the back had a question. If immigration officials knocked on her door, what if she opened it a crack but kept the chain on?

No, Mendez said. Not even a crack. That’s guidance that closely mirrors something criminal defense attorneys have long been telling clients. Letting a law enforcement agent peek inside could give them the probable cause they need to enter without a warrant.

Other advice dispensed during the session: Make sure any warrants presented have the right name and addresses and are signed by a judge. Do not volunteer information. Do not show the agents any fake documents, since doing so is a crime that could land them in much deeper trouble.

Plan ahead for the worst. For example, she said, parents in danger of being detained should have paperwork in place to have someone look after their children, instead of scrambling to find someone in an emergency.
Source: Fearful Immigrants Are Offered Anti-Deportation Training | NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Fearful-Immigrants-Are-Offered-Anti-Deportation-Training-415977753.html#ixzz4b8Mug8I8

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