Ten Practical Steps For Immigrants Post 2016
By Undocumented People for Undocumented people. (Inspired by Gaby Pacheco’s FB compilation, Developed by Carolina Ramirez, and Alonzo Mendoza)
Text ‘HereToStay’ to 877–877 to stay updated!
Here are some practical steps especially new executive orders negatively impacting immigrants. are announced.
- Start saving money! Have a reserve for at least 3 months. So, if your monthly bills are $3,000 a month, then you should try to have a $9,000 reserve.
- Know Your Rights (KYRs)
DO NOT OPEN YOUR DOORS — Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) cannot come into your home without a warrant signed by an immigration court judge. With your door shut, ask them to slide the signed warrant under the door or push it up against a window. They cannot come in unless you let them.
EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT — I.C.E can and will use anything you say against you in court. It’s important for you to remain silent and ask to speak to your attorney. Simply tell the immigration officer: “I am exercising my fifth amendment right and choosing to remain silent until I speak to my attorney”.
DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING BEFORE SPEAKING TO AN ATTORNEY — Many times, I.C.E. and Customs and Border Protection (C.B.P.) will attempt to trick and make you sign your own deportation. This is also known as a voluntary departure. Do NOT sign anything that they give you without first speaking to an attorney.
RECORD YOUR ENCOUNTER — It’s important to take photos and record video on your phone unless you are on federal government property. Take detailed notes of badge numbers, amount of agents, time, type of cars they used, and exactly what happened. Reporting this information will help us determine if any rights violation was made on behalf of the immigration agency and help us expose their rouge, manipulative tactics that they use to round up and deport immigrants.
REPORT YOUR ENCOUNTER — United We Dream runs a hotline called the MigraWatch Hotline for people to report activity of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E), Customs and Border Protection (C.B.P), or any other immigration agencies. Report the activity by calling this hotline at 1–844–363–1423.
GET HELP — Get a trustworthy attorney and explore all options to fight your case. If detained, remember that you might be able to get bail — don’t lose hope. Visit our partners, IMMI, to find free or low-cost legal help near you.
FIGHT BACK — Another way to fight back, is to join a community that has your back. As the largest immigrant youth-led network in the country, United We Dream has helped stop hundreds of deportations. Text HereToStay to 877877 to fight back alongside us.
Check out UWD”s printable resources in 5 languages
3. If you bought a vehicle or a home, have a plan for how you will pay for them in case you lose your job. Maybe you can rent your home, or rent a room to help pay the mortgage/rent. Perhaps you can share your car with someone or have someone take over your payments (all with people you trust, of course). And worst case scenario you can turn in your vehicle to the bank, which is better than it being repossessed.
4. Get a legal screening from an immigration attorney or BIA representative if something has changed since you first entered the U.S. in case you are eligible for potential protection.
5. Prepare a Third Privacy Waiver Form with your attorney OR BIA representative. This form allows a third party of your choice (congressional office, another person that is not a family member, a non-profit organization) to request any information about your detention, immigration or deportation case from an immigration enforcement agency like ICE, CBP, or USCIS.
6. Make a folder of documents that will prove your physical presence as far back as you can. Documents such as passports, work permits, social security cards, driver’s licenses, leasing contracts, G-28 form, Third Party Waiver, etc., make a copy of them, front and back and keep the copies and originals in a safe place.
7. If you have children (kids under the age of 18), U.S. born or not, take the time to have emergency guardianship papers in place, so your children don’t end up in foster care. If you have U.S. born kids, get their double citizenship if they qualify. Get them their passports.
8. Prepare a phone tree, in case you or a loved one is detained, you need to have one person that can connect/activate all your support system — family, teachers, mentors, and friends who will support you and your loved ones.
9. Get involved! Text HereToStay to 877877 in the fight for DACA and more and to protect all of our immigrant community that is threatened by more than just the cancellation of DACA. Join actions, sign petitions, make calls, tell your story. Let’s fight for this together! By: Hector Aveldano
10. Reach out for help! We know these are moments of uncertainty and stress, but you are not alone. There are hotlines that are available 24/7 in case you can’t phone a friend.