Since the fateful 9/11 event, it’s sad to say that the US is no longer that “promised land” foreigners resorted to easily. Consequently, border patrols have changed forever. The situation doesn’t go well for immigrants given the increase in detentions, family separations, and fleeing individuals being turned away at interior checkpoints. So, what hope do immigrants have? Does it mean being an immigrant is criminal and you lose all your rights? Keep reading on to discover your immigrant rights and how we can stand with you.
What Are Interior Checkpoints?
Interior border checkpoints are permanent and tactical inspection points throughout the country’s borders. Here, Border Patrol Agents stop vehicles and ask motorists to identify themselves and verify their residence status. Permanent checkpoints have permanent infrastructure while tactical ones don’t have permanent structures and are located on secondary roads.
Legally, these interior checkpoints should be located within a “reasonable” distance that stretches 100 miles from all US borders and coastlines. Funnily, over 200 million Americans live within this stretch, comprising two-thirds of our national population. For instance, most of America’s most densely populated cities such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles fall within this belt.
What Are Your Rights as an Immigrant at Checkpoints?
So, what rights do you enjoy when immigration officials stop you at these checkpoints? Here are your rights and nobody can or should suspend them.
- You should only respond briefly to a question or a couple of them and produce documents that prove you are in the US legally
- Border point inspections shouldn’t injure you
- The officers should not search your vehicle, its occupants, or conduct a visual inspection beyond what they can see
- No Border Patrol official should stop and check your vehicle because of your ethnicity or extend the search on racial grounds
- The law allows you to record checkpoint officials and ask them to identify themselves using badge numbers and other relevant information
- You have the right to remain silent and answer questions before an immigration attorney irrespective of your citizenship of immigration status. However, your silence might delay the process although it doesn’t give them an outright right to detain, search your properties or arrest you
- An officer can’t arrest and detain you without “reasonable suspicion” and if they do, they must explain the facts that inform their decision
How Does This Affect Immigrants/People/Country?
The manner in which immigration officials conduct their job has negative consequences on US citizens and immigrants. Below are some of them:
- Immigrants risk possible arrest and detention
- Immigrants could be deported
- Illegal immigrants risk possible jail terms
- Potential abuse of the patrols especially after 9/11 since we have militarized border patrol processes and immigration agents use unnecessary force against harmless and armless civilians
- Border Patrol Agents have increased the number of spying technologies at border points. Consequently, they are gathering sensitive information about US citizens and compromising their privacy within the 100-mile stretch where two-thirds of us live
Why Call Immigration Law Group?
- A proven track record
- Extensive knowledge of US immigration laws
- Affordable legal representation
- Competent and skilled immigration attorneys
- Sound legal counsel on all immigration matters
Get Help Today!
Is your dream to live or work in the US becoming a nightmare due to immigration laws? If it is, you don’t need to suffer alone when we are here. We can set up an in-person consultation at one of our office locations. Moreover, we are available for consultation by phone or online via Skype. Contact us today because with Immigration Law Group, you will never walk alone.