In order to educate the public about the current political climate surrounding immigration, California State University, Northridge’s Educational Opportunity Program’s (EOP) Dreamers, Resources, Empowerment, Advocacy and Mentorship (DREAM) Center hosted a “Know Your Rights” session on Feb. 21 in the Aronstam Library.
EOP, the DREAM Center, CSU Division of Student Affairs, CSUN Social Work Department, and CSUN College of Humanities collaborated with the National Immigration Law Center and Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Immigrant Affairs to provide this workshop to the community.
PLEASE NOTE: The information provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only and should not substitute for a lawyer. This information does not constitute legal advice. Anyone feeling the need for counsel should meet with an immigration lawyer, as everyone’s situations are unique and each situation requires analysis from many different perspectives. CSUN or NILC cannot be responsible if anyone relies on information based on this website without the consultation of an immigration attorney. Please be aware that immigration is a constantly evolving area of law and that anyone affected should consult an attorney to discuss specific facts and determine if any recent changes in laws and policies may affect that person.
Attorneys Shiu-Ming Cheer and Jessica Hanson, from the National Immigration Law Center, gave a detailed presentation on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), raids and legal rights. They started by making suggestions to those considering applying or reapplying for DACA.
“The general recommendation is not to apply for DACA for the first time this year. The future of DACA is uncertain and applying may result in loss of the application fee [approximately $500] and exposing yourself as undocumented,” said Hanson. “For those who already have DACA, reapplying does not carry a new risk of exposure. However, there is still a risk of losing the application fee.”
Cheer and Hanson also gave the audience information about what to do during an Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid. The attorneys emphasize the importance of keeping the door closed when ICE officers knock on the door of a household with undocumented immigrants.
“The majority of those arrested were arrested at home. [ICE targets] apartment complexes and [look to catch] people while they leave their homes in the morning,” Cheer said. “Always ask to see a warrant issued by the court and signed by a judge. If the officer has a warrant, ask for it to be slipped under the door or held up to the window. Do not open the door as this is you giving consent for them to enter your home.”
The last part of the presentation was in the title category, “Know Your Rights.” Cheer and Hanson outlined four legal rights and stated that everyone, no matter what their immigration status is, has these rights.
“Everyone who lives in the U.S. has legal rights, regardless of immigration status. We all have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, the right to ask for a warrant, and the right to not sign any documents,” Hanson said. “If you are undocumented, show your ‘Know Your Rights’ card or tell the officer you want to talk to your lawyer before answering any questions.”
Cheer added: “If an officer stops you, ask if you are under arrest. If the answer is ‘no,’ calmly walk away. Do not run, lie or give any false information. These can be used against you in court.”
The EOP DREAM Center hopes to host more “Know Your Rights” workshops in the future. For more information, please visit the following links:
If you would like a copy of the PowerPoint presentation given by the National Immigration Law Center, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.