President-elect Donald Trump has threatened to deport up to 3 million immigrants once he is in office. This is a scary time to be an immigrant in the United States, but you do not need to sit by and watch. There are a number of things you can do to better protect yourself and your loved ones.
1. Learn if you are eligible for immigration relief.
Over 1.5 million undocumented immigrants may have existing immigration relief available to them. Immi, a new free online tool to help immigrants in the U.S. easily screen for their immigration options, can help you figure out if you are eligible for immigration relief and find reliable legal assistance from non-profit organizations near you.
2. Know your rights.
Everyone in the U.S. has certain rights when dealing with law enforcement, including immigration agents, regardless of your immigration status. This resource by the Immigrant Defense Project explains in detail how to respond if immigration agents show up at your home or approach you on the street. Remember, you do not have to answer their questions or let them into your home without a valid search warrant.
3. Be prepared in the case of arrest.
While we hope you will never have to use it, your family should have a plan in the case you or a loved one is detained by immigration officials. This Family Preparedness Plan by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center will help ensure that you can quickly access important contact information, locate key documents, and implement a plan regarding childcare, healthcare and legal representation if you or a loved one are detained.
For more information regarding your options and rights as an immigrant in New York State, please visit LawHelpNY.