Now, more than ever, it is important that all immigrants, documented or undocumented, understand their rights as an immigrant and exercise these rights when needed. This page will cover some of the basic information that an immigrant to the United States should know regarding deportation. Please note, however, that the information provided is being published to help inform people of deportation laws and is not legal advice.
Who Can Be Deported?
Any one person that is not a citizen of the United States of America is eligible to be deported. However, this does not mean that just because you’re not a citizen that you will automatically be deported. There are three major groups of people that are considered to be at “high-risk” of deportation:
- Undocumented Immigrants
- Non-citizens with permanent or temporary status (with a past arrest conviction)
- Non-citizens with a previous deportation order (including individuals that overstay a voluntary departure
Undocumented immigrants, also referred to as “illegal aliens”, are at the highest risk of all 3 of the above categories. Being an undocumented immigrant comes with it’s own set of risks, because an illegal alien does not need to have been convicted to be deported.
Anyone who entered the United States without inspection, have previous deportation orders and/or overstayed their visas, can and will be considered an undocumented immigrant.
Deportation Defense in Arizona
Being on the border of Mexico, Arizona is no stranger to immigrants. In fact, according to a study done by the American Immigration Council, in 2015 there were 914,400 immigrants in Arizona. This made up 13.4% of the entire population of Arizona.
A good amount of people had to come to this country illegally because they were escaping poverty, war, drugs and crime. During which they did not have the time to get the proper documentation to remain here as a resident. If in that time they encounter the ICE or CBP, they may risk being immediately deported.
This is why it is so crucial to get ahead on your immigration status early, but if it is past that point and you need deportation defense representation, it is not too late. If you or someone you know has been detained by the ICE or CBP, immediately contact our deportation defense team. Our immigration team is experienced and trustworthy, and will do everything in their power to help you in this difficult time.
How to Protect Yourself
The very best thing you can do to protect yourself is to get in contact with an immigration attorney immediately. They will have the knowledge and resources available for you to protect yourself from any unwanted or unwarranted visas from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
However, the following tips by the United We Dream Organization can also be extremely helpful:
1. Do Not Open Your Doors
ICE cannot come into your home without a signed warranted by an immigration court judge. With your door shut, ask them to slide the signed warrant under the door or to push it up against the window so you can see it. They are not allowed in unless you let them.
However, if after viewing the document and verifying it’s legitimacy, let them in to your home. If you do not open the door, it may be viewed as obstruction of justice and that will not do you any favors in a court trial.
2. Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent
In the United States anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. This is why when having an encounter with the Ice or CBP it is crucial that you exercise the 5th amendment, the right to remain silent. Simply state: “I am exercising my fifth amendment right and choosing to remain silent until I speak to my attorney.”
3. Do Not Sign Anything Before Speaking to an Attorney
Due to the fact that many immigrants are not 100% fluent in English, and ICE and BCP agents are aware of this, they may attempt to trick you and have you unknowingly sign your own deportation, known as a voluntary departure. Do not sign anything before first speaking with an immigration attorney.
4. Record Your Encounter
Unless you are on federal government property, take detailed notes of your entire encounter with ICE or CBP. This includes things such as photos, videos, badge numbers, amounts of ages, time of the encounter, types of cars used – literally anything and everything you can.
5. Report Your Encounter
Report this encounter immediately to your immigration attorney. All of this information can be used to help determine if any rights violation was made on behalf of the immigration agency.
6. Get Help
Just because you have been picked up by immigration authorities does not automatically mean that you will be deported. However, there is no time to wait, immediately contact an immigration attorney if you are in any sort of encounter with the ICE or CBP. If you are detained, it is possible to get bail and be removed from custody.
7. Join a Community That Fights for Immigrant Rights
There are many organizations throughout the United States and Arizona that fight for the rights of immigrants. Don’t let our current presidential administration have you believe that you are alone in this fight.