As Texas’ SB 4, also known as the anti-sanctuary cities bill or the “show me your papers” bill, heads to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk to become law, all Texans become vulnerable to racial profiling. SB 4 will allow police officers, including campus police, to ask anyone about their immigration status, forcing undocumented immigrants deeper in the shadows and to fear deportation after any encounter with the police.

Here are some rights you need to know if you come in contact with border patrol or I.C.E. We collected this info from ACLU of Texas and United We Dream.

Make them state their purpose clearly. You can ask officials to identify themselves as well as who it is that they are looking for.

Don’t open the doors. Unless ICE has a signed warrant from a judge, they cannot come onto your property. You are well within your rights to ask to see said warrant and you can ask them to shove it under the door.

Verify that the document is actually from a court. When you do get any documents, look at the top and make sure that it has been filed by a court and signed by a judge and not a document issued by the Department of Homeland Security or ICE and signed by a DHS or ICE employee. ACLU-TX: “An administrative warrant of removal from immigration authorities is not enough.”

If they do not provide any adequate documents, state clearly, “I do not consent to your entry.”

If no agents speak Spanish and you do, ask for an interpreter. You are well within your rights to be able to effectively communicate in your interaction with agents.

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Memorize the phrase “I plead the fifth amendment and choose to remain silent,” and then don’t say anything. Anything you do say can be used against you by ICE in your immigration case in court.

If ICE decides to enter your premises anyways, state that you do not consent to their search of your area and that you demand the right to a lawyer. Again, try not to say anything until you get a lawyer.

Unless you’re on federal property, you have the right to record your interaction and report it. (United We Dream’s hotline for immediate reporting is 1-844-363-1423)

If you are detained:

Ask for legal representation no matter what. You do have the right to an attorney, but unfortunately, ICE or the US government does not have to provide you one if you cannot afford it. You can ask for a list of low-cost attorneys or free legal service providers.

Keep it short. You can still remain silent and only provide an explanation as to why you are in the US to your attorney. You can also ask to have the consulate from the country you are from be notified of your arrest.

Remember and memorize your immigration or “A number” and share it with your family or loved ones so that they can quickly find you.

Until your attorney is present and provides you an explanation of any document, do not sign anything. Nothing. Not even the one thing.

Stay tuned for updates and more information about SB 4 and its impact in the Rio Grande Valley.

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