With the current climate we live in, it cannot be ignored that immigrant rights are changing every day in the United States. The best time to know what to do is before something major happens. We don’t want anyone to be caught unaware of their rights when dealing with police or immigration services. That is why we talked to the team at Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) a legal resource and advocacy center for Michigan’s immigrants. Even though this organization is based in Michigan the information we discussed is useful throughout the United States.
Over the next few weeks we will be bringing you information on what to do before, during and after you are stopped by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In this first article we discuss developing an emergency plan in case you are detained.
- Keep all of your important documents in an easily accessible place. Make copies of these documents for a family member or close friend to keep in case of emergency.
All immigration documents, including “A” number.
- Speak with a non-Profit immigration lawyer to assess your individual immigration situation.
Always have the number or card of a respected legal service provider or immigration lawyer in case of emergency.
Your family should have these numbers.
- Have an emergency plan at your place of work.
Ask if you coworkers are willing to stay silent and ask to speak with a lawyer in the event that immigration comes to your workplace.
If your workplace has a union, speak with the union representative to better learn how to prepare in case of a raid.
- Have a plan to protect your family.
Prepare a “Power of Attorney” form to ensure the proper care of your children with a relative or family friend in case you are detained.
This is very important, and in an emergency, would allow for a close friend or family member to care for your children rather than them being placed into the foster care system.
- Obtain a valid passport for your children.
If your child is a citizen of the United States, obtain a passport for them as soon as possible. They will need this to travel outside of the country.
If your child is not a citizen of the U.S., obtain a passport from their birth country. You can get this from your country’s consulate.
- Register your child as a citizen of your home country at that country’s consulate so you do not have problems in that country once you arrive.
For example, in some countries, children that are not registered cannot attend school.
This information was provided by the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) in the United States. MIRC is a legal resource and advocacy center for Michigan’s immigrants. MIRC works to build thriving Michigan where immigrant communities experience equal justice and are fully integrated and respected. Visit michiganimmigrant.org for more information.