Know Your Rights: Attending Protest for Immigrants During ICE Presence
From an Immigration Attorney in Eatontown, NJ
As injustice, police brutality, and inhumane working conditions run rampant in our society, people across the United States have raised their voices in protest. Many immigrants have joined these outcries of protest, including participation in the rallies. The Constitution supports the people’s right to hold demonstrations, immigrant or otherwise. Even so, joining these marches come with risks.
This article will discuss the following topics:
- Does ICE Arrest Immigrants in a Public Demonstration?
- How Do I Know If ICE Authorities Are In The Area?
- What Will Happen If I Get Arrested?
- How Do I Prepare For a Protest?
- What If I’m an Immigrant Worker Who Wants to Protest?
- Where Can I Find a New Jersey Attorney to Help Me?
If you’re an immigrant who ran into immigration enforcement issues, consider calling our Eatontown law firm. Andres Mejer Law has a proven record of helping immigrants with deportation and removal. Call us today to schedule a consultation.
Does ICE Arrest Immigrants in a Public Demonstration?
In the Trump administration, Customs Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have teamed up with local law enforcement to monitor the protests.
Even though CBP and ICE have said they won’t be detaining anybody for immigration violations while attending demonstrations, the media has reported profiling and targeting immigrants. In the past, civil protests were sites where immigration authorities used to refrain from entering or pursuing enforcement action against immigrant protesters. However, in recent times, it seems they no longer follow this standard policy.
How Do I Know If ICE Authorities Are In The Area?
It’s hard to differentiate a CBP or ICE officer from typical police officers. Reports say that the authorities have not been wearing insignia showing their agency. We do not know the exact number of immigrations that have been deployed around the US. Still, leaked documents have shown that just in Washington, DC, around 770 Department of Homeland Security personnel were ordered to help enforcement.
What Will Happen If I Get Arrested?
Even if it’s not the ICE officials arrest you, you can still get into immigration trouble. If you get detained by local police, they can call ICE, which can lead to immigration proceedings and, ultimately, removal from the United States. An undocumented immigrant and a nonimmigrant are both equally likely to face that fate if they get arrested while attending a public demonstration.
ICE could file a detainer, depending on your arrest’s nature and immigration status. A detainer means that ICE would request that you be held in jail for 48 hours so their officers can eventually pick you up and transfer you to an immigration detention center.
The basis for removal varies depending on your immigration status. If you’re undocumented, you can be deported for unlawful entry. If you’re convicted of a crime, you can be removed from the United States based on criminal grounds.
How Do I Prepare For a Protest?
You must be prepared if you still want to attend a protest despite the risk. Here are some things you can do to protect yourself:
- Be ready to call an attorney. Legal trouble requires legal assistance. While there are many different attorneys from various practice areas, it will be best to call one who is familiar with deportation proceedings and criminal law. Go with family or friends who can contact that attorney if you become unable to do so.
- Avoid officers. You cannot know whether the officer is local or immigration enforcement. Regardless, an arrest from either can spell out trouble for you. Stay clear of the officers if you can.
- Follow the rules. Certain rules can be set in place regarding public rallies. These include curfews, staying behind boundaries, or refraining from activities like looting or aiding someone to escape arrest.
- Say as little as possible. Anything you say can and will be used against you. If immigration agents stop you, keep in mind that you have the right to remain silent. Say out loud that you are exercising this right and no more. You do not have to tell them about your immigration status or provide proof.
- Don’t lie. Remember that you don’t have to tell officers that you are an immigrant. However, it’s also unwise to lie about your status. Follow tip number four and keep quiet.
At Andres Mejer Law, we understand immigrant rights. You should do so if you want to exercise your right to a peaceful protest. If you find yourself in legal trouble, you should call our New Jersey law offices immediately. We’ve helped many migrant families out; allow us to help you!
What If I’m an Immigrant Worker Who Wants to Protest?
Aside from the rampant violence, protests have also been held against cruel working conditions. You have every right to demand a better work environment and living wages. If you want to attend a protest, you should know your rights as a worker.
- Right to free speech. The United States Constitution protects your right to participate in demonstrations. The government prohibits restricting your free speech, whatever your immigration status.
- Right to protest to improve collective working conditions. The National Labor Relations Act also safeguards employees who band together and participate in political activity to enhance working conditions for all employees. However, work regulations applying to all workers may limit what you can do during work hours.
- Right to protest during nonwork hours. You have the right to participate in political protests outside working hours, such as on days off or when you have no scheduled obligations. Most of the time, your employer is not permitted to punish, terminate, or otherwise retaliate against you because you participate in politics in your spare time.
- The employer may not ask you to reverify your authorization to work. Even if you take time off of work to protest, your employer cannot ask you to show your documents again. They’re also not allowed to discriminate against you by singling you out just because you joined other immigrants in protest.
Where Can I Find a New Jersey Attorney to Help Me?
If you’re an immigrant who wants to attend a march, you risk being arrested by local and immigration authorities. This situation is a unique intersection between immigration law and criminal law. Should you find yourself in the above case, our experienced New Jersey attorney from Andres Mejer Law is your best bet. The firm practices immigration and criminal law, making us the perfect candidate to represent you.
For your immigration law or criminal law concerns, call our Eatontown law office to schedule a consultation.