Many immigrants and employers of immigrants—even legal ones—are living in fear. But you don’t have to. At Alcorn Immigration Law, we protect our clients’ rights by taking action. My staff and I are monitoring all immigration developments.
We stand ready to take action and do everything possible for you, your employees, your family, or your friends to live and work or study legally in the U.S.
Know Your Rights
Every person in the U.S. has rights granted by the United States Constitution. Those rights do not depend on immigration status. And they remain even when immigration laws change or enforcement escalates.
That was evident when a federal judge in Seattle temporarily halted President Trump’s ban on nationals from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge James L. Robarts stated the judiciary branch of government ensures that the executive and legislative branches “comport with our country’s laws, and more importantly, our Constitution.”
The First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees your right to speak freely and express your opinions, practice your religion, peacefully assemble to advocate for change and petition the government.
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects your privacy and restricts the government’s power to enter and search your home or workplace and seize people or items unless they have a search warrant—a written court order that allows law enforcement to enter and conduct a specific search. A warrant should specify the places officers will search and the people or items they are looking for and will take away.
The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution gives every person the right to remain silent. That means you do not have to answer questions asked by a police officer, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer or other law enforcement or government agent.
If you carry a passport from one of the banned countries on Trump’s list—or another country currently not on the list (Trump’s order left open the option to add countries)—and are seeking to come to the U.S. to work, study, or seek refuge, contact us. As immigration lawyers, we can help people living anywhere in the U.S. or around the globe.
If you’re currently in the U.S. and have questions about your rights, traveling abroad, what to do if the conditions under which you received your visa or green card have changed, or what measures to take to preserve your rights to stay here, contact us. We can provide guidance and give you the confidence you need to make plans for your future.
Rumors are circulating that ICE agents may soon round up foreign-born individuals in the Austin, Texas, area, searching for those with criminal warrants or outstanding deportation orders. In recent weeks, ICE agents have arrested foreign nationals—some at or near courthouses—in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Last week I posted information about what to do if ICE agents come knocking on your door. Many of the recommendations I made in that post apply if ICE agents or other law enforcement officers stop you in public.
If an officer stops you, you need to ask whether you are free to go. If the answer is yes, you should calmly walk away. But if the answer is no, you should say you want to speak to your lawyer. You have the right to a lawyer, but public defenders do not exist under immigration law. Therefore, you will need to hire a lawyer or find one willing to take your case for free.
In most states, including California, you cannot be detained or arrested for refusing to give your name or immigration status. However, you can be detained or arrested in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Kansas City (Missouri), Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont and Wisconsin.
Refusing to give your name may make law enforcement officers suspicious, so use your judgment. And do not under any circumstances give a false name.
Remember, you are not required to answer questions posed by law enforcement agents beyond giving your name when asked. Make sure to have the number of a trusted attorney with you so you can call in an emergency.
We are committed to helping you preserve your rights to stay in the U.S., whether you’re undocumented or a dreamer. If you, a family member, a friend or a colleague need help, contact us. Please share this information with those who you think would benefit from it.