CHICAGO, February 14, 2020—In response to today’s New York Times report stating that the Trump administration is planning to deploy law enforcement tactical units from the southern border to sanctuary cities, including Chicago, the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) issued the following statement:
“Chicagoans have heard these threats before from the Trump administration. As a legal service organization committed to defending our Chicago neighbors, NIJC’s message to communities remains the same: Everyone in the United States, including undocumented immigrants, has rights under the U.S. Constitution.
“We encourage families to review the following information to prepare for a potential encounter with immigration officers and understand their rights.”
Know Your Rights:
1. Create a safety plan in advance:
- Identify your emergency contact and memorize their phone number
- Provide your child’s school or day care with the emergency contact name and phone number and provide authorization for the emergency contact to pick up your child
- Provide authorization for your emergency contact to make medical and legal decisions for your child
- Keep your passport, identity information, proof of physical presence in the U.S. and financial information in a safe location. Make sure your emergency contact can access them
2. Obey traffic and criminal laws and carry a valid state ID and/or work permit. Do not carry any false/fraudulent documents that do not correspond to your identity.
3. Exercise your rights during an enforcement action:
- If you are pulled over in a traffic stop: Ask if the officer is from the local police department or immigration. Immigration officers often identify themselves as “police,” but it is important to know what agency they represent. If they are Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, you do not need to answer any questions or provide any documentation before you speak with a lawyer.
- If an officer knocks on your door: Do not open the door. Officers must have a warrant signed by a judge to enter your home. ICE warrants are not signed by judges.
- All people have the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions or show any documents to an immigration officer. Ask to speak with a lawyer.
If you need support:
- 24-Hour Emergency Support: Call the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) Family Support Hotline at 1-855-HELP-MY-FAMILY (1-855-435-7693). The hotline is available 24 hours a day in English, Spanish, Korean and Polish. Volunteers provide legal and social services referrals and basic legal rights information. For additional resources, visit: https://www.icirr.org/community-resources
- Immigration legal representation:
- NIJC and the City of Chicago Legal Protection Fund: Chicago residents are eligible for free legal services from NIJC through the City of Chicago Legal Protection Fund. Immigrants outside Chicago also can obtain low-cost legal consultations and representation from NIJC. Call (312) 660-1370 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
- Community-Based Legal Clinics: See ICIRR’s list of community-based organizations providing immigration legal assistance.
- Community Support: Look for a immigration community-based organization near you.
The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) is a nongovernmental organization dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers through a unique combination of direct services, policy reform, impact litigation, and public education. Visit immigrantjustice.organd follow @NIJC on Twitter.