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Rights of Immigrants

February 2017

If you feel you are in danger of being picked up by immigration, make a plan for yourself and your family.

Speak to your attorney if you have one.

Si siente que esta en peligro de ser detenido por inmigración, haga un plan para sí mismo y su familia.

Hable con un abogado si lo tiene.

    What can I do if police or immigration stops me on the street?

    • If they ask for your name, you must tell them. You don’t have to answer other questions.
    • You can ask if you are free to go. If the answer is yes, you may walk away calmly.
    • It is best not to lie, carry false documents, or carry documents from another country with you.

    What are my rights if I am arrested?

    • If they ask for your name, you must tell them. You don’t have to answer other questions.
    • You can ask to make a phone call and speak with your lawyer. Memorize the phone number of your lawyer or a family member who is in the United States legally.
    • You do not have to give information about your immigration status.
    • You do not have to sign any documents.

    Remember: It is best not to lie, carry false documents, or carry documents from another country with you.

    What can I do if immigration comes to my home?

    • You have the right to ask if they have a warrant signed by a judge or a magistrate to enter your home. You don’t have to open the door unless they have a warrant. You have the right to ask to see the warrant before you let them into your home.
    • Sometimes a search warrant will only allow them to search specific areas of your home.
    • An arrest warrant will name the person they are looking for. If they only have an arrest warrant, you do not have to agree to let them to search your home.
    • If they enter your home anyway, you have the right to ask for the names and badge numbers of the officers and say you did not agree to the search.

    NOTE: If the police take items from your home, keep a record of what they took and ask for a receipt for the items.

    What can I do if immigration comes to my workplace?

    • Do not run. If they are not looking for you, running will make you a target.
    • You must tell them if they ask for your name, but you don’t have to answer other questions.
    • You can ask if you are free to go. If the answer is yes, you may walk away calmly.

    NOTE: Immigration does not need a warrant or permission to enter the public spaces of a business, such as the dining room in a restaurant.  They do need a warrant or permission to enter areas that are not open to the public, such as the kitchen in a restaurant.

    You can carry this card with you and hand it to the police or immigration, or slip it under your door if immigration comes to your house:

    ---------------

    I am exercising my constitutional rights.
    I do not wish to speak with you.
    I will not open the door unless you
    have a warrant signed by a judge.

    ---

    Estoy ejerciendo mis derechos constitucionales.
    No deseo hablar con usted.
    No voy a abrir la puerta a menos que
    tenga una orden judicial firmada por un juez.

    ----------

    To learn more about your rights, visit www.immi.org.

    Legal help for immigrants

    These programs offer free or inexpensive legal services for people with low income:

    • Greater Hartford Legal Aid: 860-541-5000
    • Connecticut Legal Services: 860-225-8678
    • New Haven Legal Assistance: 203-946-4811
    • International Institute: Bridgeport: 203-336-0414; Stamford: 203-965-7190; Hartford: 860-692-3085; Derby: 203-751-8696
    • The Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization of Yale Law School: 203-432-4800
    • University of Connecticut School of Law, Asylum and Human Rights Clinic: 860-570-5165
    • Immigration Advocates Network, www.immigrationadvocates.org/nonprofit/legaldirectory
    • For referral to an attorney in private practice contact the American Immigration Lawyers Association: 800-954-0254 or www.AILA.org.

    Get Help From Legal Aid

    Age 60+: Get help from legal aid.
    Under age 60: Find legal help or apply online.
    Not from Connecticut? Find help in another state.