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Know Your Rights Campaign Helping Immigrants in Illinois

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on November 08, 2018

In response to the federal government’s recent hardline immigration stance towards immigrants and sanctuary cities, the Illinois state attorney general initiated the Know Your Rights Campaign, which is focused on informing immigrants what to do if they are stopped by ICE agents or the police. Immigrants have constitutional rights, and it is important for them to understand their rights so that they can protect themselves.

Know Your Rights Campaign

The Know Your Rights Campaign was started in Illinois in an effort to inform immigrants of their constitutional rights when they encounter ICE agents or law enforcement officers. The campaign was initiated in response to President Trump’s executive orders that were aimed at sanctuary cities. The Trump Administration wants law enforcement officers to turn immigrants over to ICE. ICE has also become increasingly aggressive, engaging in tactics that may be improper.

What to Do During Police or ICE Encounters

Immigrants have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions when they are stopped by the police or ICE agents. If they have their immigration documents with them, they must show them to the immigration agents upon request. Immigrants are allowed to refuse to consent to a search of their belongings or homes if officers or agents do not have warrants.

People do not have to open their doors for officers or ICE agents who do not have warrants. If they purport to have warrants, immigrants should ask to see them and refuse entry if the warrants have not been signed by a judge. If the officers or agents force their way inside, immigrants should not resist. They also should not resist arrest if they are taken into custody. Immigrants have the right to ask for an attorney and an interpreter. People should not sign immigration documents that they do not completely understand.

It is a good idea for immigrants to be prepared. They should memorize the phone numbers of their immigration lawyers in Chicago and should carry their immigration documents and work permits with them at all times. They should not present a temporary visitor’s driver’s license for identification and should only provide it to prove that they are legally allowed to drive.