HAVE NO PAPERS/ARE OUT OF STATUS/ UNDOCUMENTED

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1 Families Beware! Fighting For Our Rights When Getting Deported 1. Who Can Be Deported? Any Non-Citizen is AT RISK of detention/deportation and can be deported by ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) if they HAVE NO PAPERS/ARE OUT OF STATUS/ UNDOCUMENTED There are two basic ways to be out of status. 1. If you crossed the border illegally or entered on fake papers 2. If you came to the country with a legal visa, but overstayed or violated your visa requirements You may be out of status even if you have an expired work permit or unsuccessfully tried to adjust your status (get papers) in the past. ANY CRIMINAL CONVICTION Even if the conviction is old, minor, or you never went to jail. You can be deported if you have a greencard. Do not assume that a conviction is small or won t hurt your immigration status. If you are not a citizen, speak to a qualified immigration lawyer about any criminal conviction you have/will have to see if it can get you deported. Do this before you go to the immigration office, leave the country, or apply for your greencard/citizenship. OLD ORDER OF DEPORTATION Sometimes immigration courts order you deported without you knowing. You may have an old order of deportation if you lost your asylum/immigration court case, skipped a immigration interview/hearing, or were granted voluntary departure but never left. To find out if you have an old order of deportation follow these steps: 1. Find your Alien Registration Number (A#). It is on the I-94 card on your passport, greencard, work permit or any other document from immigration. It looks like: A Call This is the hotline for the immigration court (EOIR). 3. Press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish. 4. Enter your A-number and listen for instructions. If your number is in the system, then this means that you had a deportation case at some time. 5. Press 3 to find out if an immigration judge ordered deportation (removal) against you. 6. If the hotline says you have a deportation/removal order, consult a lawyer specializing in immigration deportation before you go to the immigration office, leave the country, or try to adjust your status. If you have an old order of deportation, speak with a qualified immigration attorney immediately and before you go to the immigration office, leave the country, or apply for your greencard/citizenship. If you have an old order of deportation and never left the country, ICE considers you a fugitive and may try to come to your house. 2. What Are Your Rights If You Are At Risk?* YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT YOURSELF OR YOUR IMMIGRATION STATUS Immigration and/or local police may try to trick, threaten or force you into giving up your immigration status or your country of origin. But remember, you do not have to say anything. (if local police ask, you have to give them your name). Telling ICE your immigration status and country of origin will only help them deport you easier. **Please remember that if the police or ICE find false documents or documents belonging to someone else on you, they may charge you with a crime that may give you more problems with immigration. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO OPEN YOUR DOOR FOR THE POLICE OR ICE UNLESS THEY HAVE A WARRANT SIGNED BY A JUDGE ICE may come to your house looking for you or another immigrant. Because they sometimes come in large numbers or with guns, this can be a very scary experience. However, unless they have a warrant signed by a judge, you do not have to open the door for them (see attachment 1& 2). They may break down the door if you do not open it. But if they do break down your door without a warrant, it may be

2 2 illegal. There are some cases where if you refuse to open the door they will walk away until they get a warrant. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SIGN ANYTHING If you sign, you might admit charges against yourself or give up your right to a hearing in front of the judge. ICE often threatens people to sign papers when they are arrested. Sometimes ICE will tell you that if you don t sign you will spend more time in jail, or that you have no chance of fighting your case. Remember that ICE agents often give wrong information. Their job is to deport you and deport you quickly by making you admit to breaking the law. DO NOT SIGN PAPERS YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND DO NOT LIE Lying to ICE, by saying you are a citizen for example, will get you into more trouble. In some cases, you can be criminally prosecuted. It is better to say nothing or ask to speak to a lawyer than to lie. WHEN YOU DON T KNOW WHAT TO SAY, ASK TO SPEAK TO A LAWYER You do not get free lawyers when in immigration, but you should still insist on speaking to an attorney before answering any questions or signing any documents. If you have a lawyer give ICE your lawyers number and tell them you want to call your lawyer before talking. ICE may refuse but insist on speaking to a lawyer. *These tips are not meant to replace talking to an attorney or to contradict information an attorney gave you. Also remember, if you are stopped while entering the US at the border, refusing to answer question may prevent you from entering into the country. 3. Immigration (ICE) Can Detain You AFTER THE POLICE ARREST YOU Police in some cities ask people they suspect of being immigrants their status and country of origin after traffic stops and routine arrests. Even when they don t, once you are arrested by police most jail officials, parole/probation officers, will ask you about your country of origin and immigration status. Once they find out you are from another country they will tell ICE and may hold you until ICE comes to take you into immigration custody. Even if you are found not guilty of a crime, finished a sentence, or are on parole/probation, jail officials/probation officers will contact ICE to tell them you are not a citizen. Remember, even if Police/Jail Officers/Probation Officers ask you for your immigration status and country of origin, it does not mean you have to tell them. Tell them that you do not want to answer and ask to speak with an attorney. If you give them this information, nothing stops them from telling immigration. If you are in criminal court facing charges, DO NOT take a guilty plea without speaking with a lawyer specializing in deportation first. Defense lawyers, regular immigration attorneys, prosecutors and judges don t always know the immigration consequences of a conviction. Don t rely on their opinion. FROM THE AIRPORT/SEAPORT AND NEAR THE BORDER 1. If you are a noncitizen with a past conviction leaving the country, immigration may stop you and detain you when you come back in, even if the conviction is old and they never stopped you on previous trips. 2. Immigration agents routinely stop people at airports, bus/train stations, and areas near the border and ask them for their immigration information. If you have an old conviction, no matter how minor, or how many times you have left the country, talked to a deportation specialist before leaving the country. If you are at risk of deportation, avoid traveling near the border or taking buses/trains with stops near the border. If you are at risk of deportation, telling an immigration agent your immigration status or country of origin will result in your detention.

3 FROM YOUR HOME People with old orders of deportation and their neighbors are at high risk of being visited in their homes by ICE agents. Ice also raids the neighborhoods of immigrants when conducting special operations (antigang, anti-prostitution, etc.) even if the people in those neighborhoods are not being investigated. If you have an old order of deportation, expect ICE to come to your house. Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do If ICE agents are at your door, remember, you do not have to answer. If you do answer, don t open the door and ask for a warrant signed by a judge. Look at the warrant (attachment 1&2), make sure it is signed by a Judge and gives them power to enter. If ICE breaks down your door or enters your house, you still do not have to answer any questions, they may try to force you but be calm, follow their instructions (to lay down etc.) but do not feel forced to answer their questions. Remember everything you say can be used against you. FROM THE IMMIGRATION OFFICE Sometimes people that are at risk of deportation try to get their greencard/citizenship without first asking an immigration attorney if they qualify for anything. They often do this hoping only to get a work permit, social security card or driver s license. Some people that have applied for things without talking to a qualified immigration attorney have been detained by immigration after their citizenship/adjustment interview! If you are at risk of deportation (past conviction, order of deportation, out of status), talk to a reputable immigration attorney before trying to apply for citizenship/green card/work permit. DO NOT APPLY FOR ANYTHING JUST SO YOU CAN GET A WORKPERMIT/DRIVER S LICENSE/SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. Applying for immigration benefits you know you don t qualify for may get you in more trouble with immigration. If you feel you have to go to an Immigration office but are sure you will be detained, tell a family member or close friend where you are going, and set a time to call them after the visit. If you do not call because you are detained, they should start looking for you (follow steps below). Talk to a reputable attorney before you bring your passport, work permit, travel documents, greencard, or any information about a criminal case. GIVE COPIES of everything you take to a relative or friend first. If you are going in response to an appointment letter, leave a COPY OF THE LETTER with a relative or friend. 4. What to do once you/your family is detained Once you are detained, you maybe sent to a detention center anywhere in the country. ICE agents may force you to sign documents giving up your rights and agreeing to deport you faster if you agree to charges. They may tell you that there is nothing else you can do. Remember, immigration agents are not lawyers and they are not there to help you they are there to deport you. To locate your detained loved one: Visit the online ICE locator https://locator.ice.gov/odls/homepage.do, it is best to have the A#. Not all detainees may be listed there. Contact the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Detention and Removal office (ICE-DRO Office see attachment 9). Ask to speak with a supervisory deport officer. Give them your loved one s full name and Alien number (A#, the alien number is located on most immigration paperwork workpermits, visas, greencards, etc and begins with an A; if the person entered the country illegally you may not know their alien number yet). DO NOT go into detail about your loved ones situation. Contact your Consulate. Some Consulates are required by law to be notified when one of their nationals is detained. The consulate may also have the A#. The last resort is always to contact the different county detention facilities or wait for your loved one to call. Remove any blocks on your phone for collect calls. If you reach your family member, ask them for their alien #, ask them to mail their NTA, and give them all the information below. Call the detention center to inquire about the visitation policy and how to send money. Remember people out of status or at-risk of deportation generally should not visit your loved ones in detention. 3

4 ONCE YOU ARE DETAINED, DO NOT SAY OR SIGN ANYTHING GIVING UP YOUR RIGHT TO AN IMMIGRATION HEARING IN FRONT OF A JUDGE OR ANY OTHER RIGHTS. Sometimes immigration agents will ask you to sign a stipulated order of removal (see attached) or other papers. This may give up all your rights to the judge. They may tell you that you don t qualify for anything and this will make you suffer less. They do not know if this is true or not, only a judge or your attorney would know. Do not sign any documents unless your attorney tells you to. If ICE tries to force you to sign, ask them to speak to your lawyer. If you do not have a lawyer, tell them that you want to talk to a lawyer first. Do not let them scare you. Remember, you do not have to say anything to ICE agents. Anything you tell them will be used against you. If you have an old order of deportation, you may not get a hearing in front of the judge and can be deported right away. Ask for a Notice of Reinstatement of Deportation Order. ASK FOR A NOTICE TO APPEAR (NTA) The Notice To Appear (NTA) is the charging document that ICE is using to deport you. It is the most important document to have when fighting your deportation. (see attachment 3) Ask the ICE officer for a copy of your Notice to Appear. Make a copy of your NTA and mail it to your family immediately If the ICE officer refuses to give you your NTA ask for the NTA from the judge (see under Bond) ASK FOR BOND (FROM ICE AND A JUDGE) Bond can either be given by ICE or by an immigration judge. If ICE refuses to give bond, you have the right to ask an immigration judge for a bond hearing (unless you have an old order of deportation). Even if you don t qualify for bond, asking for a bond hearing can get you in front of a judge faster. Ask the ICE officer for Bond. If the ICE officer sets bond for you, pay it right away if possible. If ICE refuses to give bond, the bond is too high, or you just want to see an immigration judge faster, write a letter to the immigration judge, including your name and alien number asking for a bond hearing. Remember even if you don t think you qualify for bond, it may get you in front of the judge faster. Once you see the judge, ask them for a copy of your Notice to Appear (NTA) FIGHT YOUR CASE IN IMMIGRATION COURT Once you are in front of the judge, the judge will go over the charges on your Notice To Appear to see if ICE can deport you and if there is something you can do to stop it. YOU DO NOT GET A FREE LAWYER in immigration court but should be given time to find a lawyer. If you see an immigration judge and you do not have an attorney, tell the judge that you need more time to find a lawyer, you can usually do this at least twice. Do not go into details about your case yet. Try to find a lawyer first (see attachments 10 & 11) If you cannot find a lawyer, the immigration judge is going to force you to procede without a lawyer. They will read the charges on the NTA and ask you to admit or deny those charges. If you have not spoken to a lawyer and do not know what to say, do not admit to the charges on your NTA (including the charges that ask you what your country/immigration status is). You may tell the judge I do not admit or deny the charges or I do not admit to any charges. This may force ICE to prove some of the charges against you. If there are charges you know are wrong, deny them. Ask the Judge what relief you qualify for. Relief means ways to stop your deportation. If you do not have an attorney the judge should explain to you what you qualify for. If the judge tells you that you do not qualify for anything, ask them why not. (see attachment 6). If the judge orders you deported they will ask you if you reserve/waive your right to appeal. If you waive your right to appeal, your deportation case is basically finished. If you are unsure what to do, reserve your right to appeal, this will allow you to appeal the deportation order if you want to. If you have an old order of deportation order, you won t get a hearing in front of an immigration judge, but speak to a qualified immigration attorney about reopening your case (if possible). Consider speaking to your consulate to find out your timetable for deportation. Notify them that you are fighting your case. If you are seeking asylum/withholding, do not tell the consulate that information. If you face automatic deportation because of your crime, consult a criminal immigration attorney about the positives and negatives of Vacating, Appealing, or Reopening your Criminal Case. This is very complicated, but may be your only way to avoid deportation (see attachment 7). 4

5 IF YOU ARE FAMILY ON THE OUTSIDE Keep the following information about your detained loved one: Full name and aliases Alien Registration Number. It is on most immigration papers, including the I-94 card on your passport, greencard, or any other document that immigration gives you. The A# looks like: A Date person entered the U.S. and how (visa, cross border, greencard through marriage, etc.) Criminal Record. You must have a list of the precise criminal convictions (e.g. 4th degree Criminal possession of a controlled substance). Include the date of arrest, the place of arrest, date of conviction, And the sentence. If possible, get a copy of the rap sheet. Get a Certificate of Disposition for each conviction from the clerk s office in the courthouse where the criminal case was heard. A copy of your Notice to Appear (NTA) and all other immigration paperwork. Favorable Factors: collect documents showing that the person facing deportation has family, community ties and good character. Remember if you want information on your loved one s case, call the immigration court system at and type in his/her alien #. This will let you know about the status of their court date. 5. Hiring a Good Attorney People often rush to hire any lawyer when a loved one is detained. It is often a bad idea to rush to hire an attorney without having a basic idea about a loved ones case or without knowing anything about an attorney. First learn as many facts about your loved one, and then approach an attorney. Some tips when looking for an attorney: Stay informed about your immigration case, and do not just rely on the attorney. Hire someone specializing in deportation. Manny attorneys do not know immigration law and many immigration attorneys do not know deportation very well. If the lawyer does real estate, business and immigration, they are most likely not deportation specialists. If facing deportation, make sure your lawyers looks at your Notice To Appear (NTA) before giving you advice Keep the full name and contact information of EVERY lawyer that has ever represented you. Get a written contract before you give the lawyer money. Ask the lawyer for a retainer agreement. Read it carefully. Make sure you understand it. Also make sure that it contains the same promises the lawyer is making. If you are in Criminal Proceedings ask your lawyer to provide you written information about the immigration consequences of your conviction in writing before you plead guilty. If you have an old order of deportation and are attempting to adjust your status, get written information from your lawyer explaining how s/he will manage to keep you from being deported. If your attorney ever refuses to provide information he promises you in writing, send a certified mailed letter to him outlining the promises he made to you and asking for written verification or clarification of those promises. Make sure you and your family receives a copy of everything your lawyer files. File a complaint with the Attorney Grievance Committee immediately if you fell your lawyer cheated you (see If you face automatic deportation because of your crime, consult a criminal immigration attorney about the positives and negatives of Vacating, Appealing, or Reopening your Criminal Case. This is very complicated, but may be your only way to avoid deportation. 5

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