President Trump and the new administration in Washington have promised to hire 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) agents, 5,000 new border patrol officers and 125 new immigration judges to enforce the new executive orders dealing with immigration. The increased enforcement will permit expedited deportation of many immigrants who have been in the United States for less than 2 years. In fact, many immigrants may be deported in less than 48 hours after being taken into custody. In light of this new policy, there are four things that every immigrant needs to do. 

1. Make A Family Preparation Plan
a)  Have the telephone number of an immigration lawyer or immigration advocacy group with you at all times. Make certain that your family members also have these telephone numbers.
b)  Keep important documents (passport, marriage license, birth certificate, deed to property) in a safe place that is readily accessible.
c)   Keep documents showing your status and years in the Unites States on your person at all times.
d)   Create a power of attorney in favor of someone you trust to make decisions for your children.
e)   Obtain a passport from the United States or your native country for you and all family members so that all of you can travel.
2. Know What To Do If The Police Or An Immigration Officer Stops You On The Street
a)  If you are stopped in the street, ask if you are being detained or arrested. If you are told no, ask if you are free to leave. If you are told that you may leave, walk away calmly. If you are told that you are under arrest or being detained: You have the right to remain silent. You should exercise this right.
b)  Show your status documents if you have them on your person.
c)  Do not sign any papers.
d)  If you do not have valid documents to be in the United States: Remain silent; do not show false documents or lie; and do not sign any papers.
3. Know What To Do If The Police Or An Immigration Officer Comes To Your House
a)  Do not open the door unless you are shown a search warrant. Ask that the warrant and all other papers be slipped under the door.
b)  If an officer enters your home, even with a search warrant, write down the names and badge numbers of the officers and the names, addresses and telephone numbers of anyone in your home at the time of the entry.
c)   Do not sign any papers.
d)  ​ Contact an immigration lawyer or immigration advocacy group immediately after the officers leave.
4. Know What To Do If You Are Arrested Because Of An Immigration Issue
a)  Obtain the name, badge number of the person who arrested you and the agency for whom the agent works (ICE, FBI, local police).
b)  Remain silent and advise the agent that you are exercising the right to remain silent.
c)   Do not sign any papers.
d)  ​Immediately ask to contact an immigration lawyer or a family member who can contact a lawyer on your behalf.
e)  Contact the consulate of your native county. The consulate will help you formulate a plan to protect you and your family.
f)  Advise whomever is holding you in custody that you want to apply for bail.
The best way to protect your rights is to know your rights. Have a plan and a strategy to exercise those rights. If you have a question about immigration and your rights, please contact Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf, P.C. at 732-363-0666.​