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100203houston_lg-300x227If 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.

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Know Your Rights Card

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Syrian Refugee CrisisSince the start of the 2011 civil war going on in Syria, millions of Syrians have fled the region. As these refugees flee, they really have no place to go. Many are simply fleeing on foot, traveling thousands of miles through dangerous conditions in the hopes of reaching a country that will accept them. Until they can successfully relocate in a new country, Syrian refugees are being housed in refugee camps in various countries where they are being apprehended or stopped as they attempt to enter. Right now, Turkey is housing about 2 million Syrian refugees in camps while Lebanon has another 1 million Syrian refugees. The most popular path from Syria is through Turkey into Balkan states and up to other European countries like Germany and France. But many refugees are attempting to cross into Greece and Italy though sea and France through trains. The U.N. estimates that over 2,800 Syrians have died or disappeared during this crisis.

But many countries are not accepting Syrian refugees. According to a report published in the Washington Post, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain, the six wealthiest countries in the region, have offered to accept exactly zero refugees currently being housed in refugee camps. Many European countries have also expressed their disinterest in accepting Syrian refugees. Hungary plans to erect a wall to prevent Syrian refugees from entering the country. Several Balkan states are also trying to cut off the most popular routes into Europe by closing their borders. Other European states have been more inviting. Germany has agreed to accept some 800,000 Syrian refugees, while the United Kingdom has agreed to accept 20,000 Syrian refugees.

While Europe has been the main focus of the Syrian refugee crisis, the United States has been criticized for not doing enough to help the situation. Since 2011, the United States has accepted some 1,500 Syrian refugees. The Obama Administration recently announced that the United States is preparing to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Still, several humanitarian and other organizations have called on the United States to still do even more.