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Know Your Rights

Know Your Rights ManualBelow are some basic guidelines for knowing your rights.  You can also obtain free materials from the ACLU of Florida (free K-Y-R brochures in English, Spanish, and Creole) and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.
Know Your Rights Material

Source: Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project manual “Protecting Our Communities: all in one toolkit to teach ‘know your rights’ and beyond Version 1.”  Click here to view.

PDF Download of Prosecutorial Discretion Packet

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Prosecutorial discretion will NOT change your immigration status. This guide should be used ONLY if the government is currently trying to deport you. You should NOT turn yourself in to immigration authorities or risk deportation in order to ask for prosecutorial discretion. Do not share any information with ICE that you do not want the government to know. This guide is not meant to be legal advice. Every case is different. Do NOT take advice from a Notary Public or immigration consultant. Contact ONLY a qualified immigration lawyer or an accredited representative for legal advice on your case.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please do not substitute this information for legal advice. Seek an experienced immigration attorney for consultation on specific cases. This list is not exhaustive and you can find more resources at the links provided.

Why am I being detained?
What are the programs in my county?
What can I expect to happen to me?
I was told I had an immigration “hold”. What does this mean?
What detention centers is ICE most likely to send me to in Florida?
How can I find someone who is detained? What do I need?
What can I do to protect myself if I am stopped or I am already in detention?
What are my rights?

Why am I being detained?
ICE (Immigration Customs and Enforcement) can deport individuals who:
Enter the country without documentation (i.e. those that cross the border)
Enter the country with legal documentation but this has now expired (i.e. those that overstayed their visa)
Is a legal permanent resident (LPR) or green card holder and has committed certain crimes
A U.S. citizen can and should never be deported

What are the programs in my county?
The two biggest programs that we are faced with in Florida are:
Secure Communities is a statewide program in the state of Florida and exists in all counties. Local law enforcement checks fingerprints in federal databases for everyone who is arrested. If the database indicates that someone does not have legal status in the U.S., ICE gets notice and can begin an immigration case against the person.

The 287g program exists in only three counties in the state of Florida. Those counties are Collier, Duvall and Bay. Under this program, certain police officers are deputized to act as ICE agents and carry out certain tasks. In certain counties like Collier, the 287g officers can both enforce immigration authority out on the street and in the jails. So for example, if the person is arrested for driving without a valid driver’s license, the 287g officers can ask questions to obtain the person’s immigration status. They can also ask these questions once the person is in jail.

What can I expect to happen to me?
This varies depending on your specific case, but in general the process is something like this:
If arrested by ICE: 1) you will be taken to jail or an office, 2) you will be interviewed about your immigration status, 3) you will be moved to a detention center, 4) you will have an immigration court hearing
If arrested by the police: 1) you will be booked into jail and interviewed about your immigration status, 2) ICE detainer (“hold”), 3) criminal case could be resolved or not; ICE will pick you up anyway due to detainer, 4) serve sentence (“time served” if any), 5) ICE picks you up from jail/prison and/or you stay in the same jail, which acts like a detention center, 5) ICE may move you to a detention center, 6) you will have an immigration court hearing.

I was told I had an immigration “hold”. What does this mean?
An immigration hold or detainer is a request that ICE puts in to the local law enforcement agency that has an undocumented person and who they want to detain. This means that local law enforcement can hold you up to 48 hours, excluding holidays and weekends, until ICE picks you up.
If you have an ICE hold, you will probably be picked up and moved to a detention center.

What detention centers is ICE most likely to send me to in Florida?
Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach and Krome Detention Center in Miami. However, ICE can send you to detention centers outside of Florida.
Link to BTC: http://www.ice.gov/doclib/dro/facilities/pdf/wccpbfl.pdf
Link to krome: http://www.ice.gov/doclib/dro/facilities/pdf/kro.pdf

How can I find someone who is detained? What do I need?

If it’s the case that your loved one finds themselves detained, there is a tool that may be useful to you.

ICE has an online searching system to permit anyone to look up and find a person that is currently detained. You can find it here [https://locator.ice.gov/odls/homePage.do]
For most accurate finds, you will need the person’s A (Alien) Number and the person’s country of birth.

If you do have only one of those two pieces or neither, you can search by having the person’s first and last names, country of birth and as an optional field, their date of birth.
This system doesn’t always yield results. Many times, when you search for an individual, they may not be in the system yet as it may take ICE a couple of days from the time they are moved from jail to the detention center to process them into this system. There’s also the possibility that you don’t have the person’s name as it appears to ICE. Many times, the police makes mistakes in inputting a person’s name and if it is misspelled, ICE will also misspell it processing this individual.

Sometimes, they only way to go is by calling the detention centers closest to you. In an ideal situation, your loved one will call you and provide you with their A# or you will have this information already.

What can I do to protect myself if I am stopped or I am already in detention?

Even if you are undocumented, you still have rights. Learn more about your rights here.
If you are already in detention, there are certain procedures that you should be aware of. Click here to learn more.

What Do You See?  Report Human Rights Abuses

Look for 4 things:

  1. Officer’s name and badge number
  2. License plate numbers
  3. Location and time of incident
  4. Any physical or verbal abuse that took place

You have the right to live free and without fear.  We all can be the voices of justice.  Call Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project to report an abuse at 239-271-2423.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS PRINTABLE NOTICE

If immigration or law enforcement detains you:

  • Show them a Know Your Rights notice (see below)
  • The card explains that you want to exercise your right to not answer questions without consulting a lawyer.

Know Your Rights Notice

To Whom It May Concern:  Please be informed that I am choosing to exercise my right to remain silent and the right to refuse to answer your questions.  If I am detained, I request to contact an attorney immediately.  I am also exercising my right to refuse to sign anything until I consult with my attorney.  Thank you.

I do not wish to speak with you, answer your questions, or sign or hand you any documents based on my 5th Amendment rights under the United States Constitution.

I do not give you permission to enter my home based on my 4th Amendment rights under the United States Constitution unless you have a warrant to enter, signed by a judge or magistrate with my name on it that you slide under the door.  I do not give you permission to search any of my belongings based on my 4th Amendment Rights.

I choose to exercise my constitutional rights.