The fundamental constitutional protections of due process and equal protection embodied in our Constitution and Bill of Rights apply to every person, regardless of immigration status.

Las protecciones constitucionales fundamentales del debido proceso y la protección equitativa incorporadas en nuestra Constitución y Declaración de Derechos se aplican a todas las personas, independientemente de su estado migratorio. Cuando el gobierno tiene el poder de negar los derechos legales y el debido proceso a un grupo vulnerable, los derechos de todos están en riesgo.

Resources

Regardless of your immigration status, you have guaranteed rights under the Constitution. Learn more here about your rights as an immigrant, and how to express them.

Voces de la Frontera’s Milwaukee and Racine Workers’ Centers hold ‘Know Your Rights’ trainings (in English and Spanish) several times each year. Learn more about these programs, and the others Voces de la Frontera offer here.

Recursos

Independientemente de su estatus migratorio, tiene derechos garantizados bajo la Constitución. Obtenga más información aquí sobre sus derechos como inmigrante y cómo expresarlos.

Los centros de trabajadores de Voces de la Frontera en Milwaukee y Racine llevan a cabo capacitaciones sobre "Conoce tus derechos" (en inglés y español) varias veces al año. Conoce más sobre estos programas y los demás que ofrece Voces de la Frontera aquí.

                                                                                   

Know Your Rights: Immigrants' Rights

What are my rights?

Q.What are my rights?
A.

Whether you are a United States citizen or not, you have the following rights:

  • You have the right to refuse consent for searches of yourself, your vehicle, or your home by police or other law enforcement agencies, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  • You have the right to remain silent, which you can exercise by stating your desire to remain silent aloud. 
  • You have the right to speak to an attorney before you answer any questions from law enforcement. 
  • You can say, “I wish to remain silent until I speak to an attorney.”
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen, you have the right to call your home country’s consulate. 
  • You do not have to sign anything that you do not understand.
  • You have the right to a copy of all your immigration papers.

What should I do if ICE or police knock on my door?

Q.What should I do if ICE or police knock on my door?
A.
  • Always think twice before you let someone into your home. Unless they are in possession of a warrant signed by a judge, immigration and police officials may not enter your home. Opening your door is not in itself an invitation to enter.
  • Beware: ICE agents may pretend to be police, claiming they want to talk to you about an “identity theft” or “ongoing investigation.” Ask them to slip their card or their warrant (if they have one) under the door.
  • You always have the right to remain silent. 
    • You can say “I do not want to enter any questions.” 
    • Ask to speak to an attorney and do not sign anything you do not fully understand.
  • Stay calm and do not run, lie, or physically resist arrest. You can use your phone to record and take notes about the raid, but do not endanger yourself by violently resisting.
  • If they enter your house, say “I do not consent to this search. Please leave the house.” Do not hand over passport or consular documents unless ICE has a search warrant signed by a judge that specifically lists those items. Say “I don’t want to bring my documents.” 
  • Alert ICE right away if: 
    • There are children or elderly people present in your home.
    • You are ill, on medication, nursing, or pregnant.
    • You are the primary caretaker of a loved one and need to arrange care.

What should I do if ICE or the police stop me while driving my car?

Q.What should I do if ICE or the police stop me while driving my car?
A.
  • Remain calm and do not run. You can use your phone to record video, photos, and notes about the stop.
  • You may not initially know who is pulling you over. ICE officers will often drive unmarked cars, wearing vests that say “POLICE.” Before you give them your name or any other identifying information, ask the officers who they are, and to give you identification. You can ask:
    • “Are you the police?”
    • “Are you immigration?”
    • “Are you highway patrol?”
    • “Why am I being stopped?”
  • In Wisconsin, if you are the driver, you must pull over if stopped by any law enforcement officer, even if you don’t believe you did anything wrong. Failure to pull over may result in ICE officers using force or violence to pull you out of your car.
  • Only roll down your window if asked by the officer. If asked, you may roll your window down partially, to prevent them from reaching inside the car. 
    • Beware: ICE may not wait for you to roll down the window; they may open the door or break a window to pull you or someone else out of the car. ICE may act aggressively; if you feel forced to follow their commands, you may still state that you do not consent.
  • Remain silent: show your drivers’ license to the police. In Wisconsin, the driver must show any officer their driver’s license. Passengers do NOT have to show an officer ID or give any identifying information.  If asked, show your registration and proof of insurance. You still have the right to remain silent; anything you say can be used against you by immigration. You may refuse to consent to a search of yourself or your car.
  • ICE officers can ask you to get out of the car for “officer safety.” Before you get out, ask the officers to give a reason for stopping your car and to identify themselves again; they may arrest you once you leave the car. 
  • ICE cannot search anything -- your pockets, belongings, car, glove compartment, trunk -- without a judicial warrant or your consent. However, ICE officers are allowed to pat someone down for “officer safety,” and if they search your car anyway you can still tell them that you do not consent.
  • Ask to speak to an attorney and do not sign anything you do not understand. 
    • Beware: officers sometimes stop a car based on a person’s ethnicity, even though this is not legally allowed. If you believe that you were stopped because of racial profiling, share it with your legal represenative. 
  • Ask if you are free to go; you have the right to leave if you are not under arrest. 

What should I do if immigration comes to my job?

Q.What should I do if immigration comes to my job?
A.
  • Stay calm and don’t run. Officers may view running as an admission of guilt.
  • NEVER carry false documents. Doing so may result in criminal charges or deportation.
  • If you witness but are not the subject of a raid, do not interfere with ICE. Doing so could result in criminal charges.
  • Remain silent; as always, you have the right to remain silent, which you can exercise by stating aloud that you do not wish to answer any questions.
  • Keep important phone numbers with you. For example, the phone numbers of your legal service provider and/or union representative.
  • Don’t sign anything against your will or that you do not understand. Do not sign anything without first talking to a lawyer. Signing a paper may constitute an agreement to leave the United States.

What should I do if I am arrested?

Q.What should I do if I am arrested?
A.
  • Remain silent. Immigration can use anything you say against you, so exercise your right to remain silent.
  • Stay calm and don’t run. Use your phone to take notes about the stop, but do not panic or try to run. Running may be seen as an admission of guilt.
  • Ask for legal help. Ask to speak to your attorney. 
  • Don’t sign anything you don’t understand. Be sure to consult a legal expert before you sign anything, because you may accidentally be signing an agreement to be deported.

If I am undocumented, can I receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Q.If I am undocumented, can I receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
A.

Yes. When getting a COVID-19 vaccine, vaccine officials should not ask for a state identification or proof of residence. 

Am I entitled to the third stimulus payment?

Q.Am I entitled to the third stimulus payment?
A.

In some cases. If you have a Social Security Number, and are married to someone without a Social Security Number, you should still be eligible to recieve the third stimulus payment.

How do I have immigration conversations with my sheriff?

Q.How do I have immigration conversations with my sheriff?
A.

We have a real opportunity to demand change from local sheriffs and police departments.

When meeting with a sheriff or police chief, it is important to know how each directs their departments to interact with immigrants in our community. Ask of them:


1) When questioned, stopped, pulled over, or arrested, are people questioned about their
immigration status?
They should not be unless directly relevant to an i nvestigation of a state or
local charge.


2) Are stops conducted or prolonged for purposes of contacting federal i mmigration authorities?


3) Does the Sheriff's Department honor detainer requests i ssued by ICE? They should not unless the detainer is accompanied by a warrant signed by a judge or magistrate - not just signed by an ICE officer.


4) Do you agree that every person, regardless of country of origin, is entitled to equal respect by personnel of the Department?


5) Does the Sheriff’s Department have a written policy with regard to its interactions with immigrant members of the community?


6) Does the Sheriff’s Department contact ICE when it books foreign born persons into the jail?


7) Has the Sheriff’s Department had a chance to review the ACLU of Wisconsin’s 2018 report surveying the policies of sheriffs across the state for interacting with the immigrant community?


8) Does the Sheriff’s Department have any current agreements to collaborate with ICE?