If you are undocumented and approached by Law Enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security, ICE or other Immigration Officials – you do have certain rights. If encountered at home, you do not have to open the door unless the officials have a search warrant. You have the right to remain silent, and the right to speak to a lawyer if you are detained or taken into custody. If you are approached in a Public area by immigration officers, you have the right to remain silent, you may refuse a search, and you have the right to speak to a lawyer if detained or taken into custody. You can refuse to sign any and all paperwork presented to you until you have spoken to a lawyer. Print out the attached Know Your Rights pages and keep them for your reference. Cut out the Know Your Rights Card and carry it with you. You may give it to immigration officers if you do not wish to speak to them.
On April 11, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum to all federal prosecutors titled “Renewed Commitment to Criminal Immigration Enforcement,” in which he directs federal prosecutors to enforce the criminal laws against unlawful entry into the United States. In the past, offenses such as unlawful entry, unlawful re-entry, document fraud or identity theft had noncriminal resolutions such as deportation or voluntary departure. The policies recently outlined by Sessions now encourage criminal prosecution of non-violent immigration violations as follows:
- Offenses related to unlawful transportation of harboring of undocumented aliens, with priority on those smuggling three or more individuals.
- Any case where the defendant has two or more prior misdemeanor improper entry convictions, or one or more improper entry convictions with aggravating circumstances, such as criminal history, gang membership or affiliation or multiple prior voluntary returns, prior removal or deportation orders, will be referred for criminal prosecution.