These materials have been put together by the SOA Watch Legal Collective to help individuals defend their rights and better understand the immigration risks in Arizona and Tucson and Nogales specifically. If you have specific questions or don’t have the documents to prove your immigration status, please speak with an immigration lawyer before traveling.
Defend Your Rights
- In Arizona, if you are stopped by the police while driving, you must show your drivers license and give your name but otherwise you can and should remain silent.
- Do not answer questions by the police about your immigration status.
- Do not sign anything given to you by ICE until you talk to a lawyer.
If ICE detains you, they will try to pressure you to sign a “voluntary departure”. This means you are signing agreeing to be deported. Demand your right to talk to a lawyer before signing any papers.
- Prepare a plan of action to protect your family and keep your documents in a safe place.
“Powers of attorney” allow people you trust to make important decisions in case you are arrested. For example, it can allow someone else to make decisions to care for your child or decisions about your finances. You should prepare a notarized power of attorney before you travel.
Keep all important documents someone safe and tell someone you trust where they are. Keep the original power of attorney with your documents but carry a copy.
I am not a US citizen: Travel Risks in Arizona
- A checkpoint is like a border — immigration will likely ask and are allowed to ask for your documents when crossing. See below for what happens at a checkpoint and how to try to avoid them. There is a checkpoint between Tucson and Nogales!
- See above for what to do if you are stopped by the police.
- US Citizens – your passport
- Permanent residents – your unexpired green card and a valid state/federal ID card
- TPS – your EAD and a state or federal ID card. To go to Mexico, you need to obtain an I-131 Advance Parole Doc.
- DACA – your EAD and a state or federal ID card. To go to Mexico, you need to obtain an I-131 Advance Parole Doc.
- Undocumented – any ID with your name on it. Not documents from a foreign country. Undocumented persons will not be able to re-enter the U.S. without authorization. Again, there will be a Person of Color Space in Tucson, Arizona so that undocumented persons who choose not to travel outside the country may attend the Encuentro after learning about and accepting the risks related to traveling to Tucson.
What Happens at a Checkpoint?
- BUT Agents can obtain probable cause for a search if a drug-sniffing dog legitimately “alerts” to the presence of drugs.
I am not a citizen: What Happens if I am Arrested by Police or ICE?
If you are arrested as a non-citizen by the police, you very likely will be transferred to ICE to a an immigration detention center. You can try to bond out of the jail but if you have a hold, the jail will not let you be released from the jail.
All the jails in the area will accept ICE’s “holds” which allows ICE to request that someone they think is undocumented should be transferred to ICE custody. Special risk! You are most likely to be transferred if ICE believes you are undocumented, are not a citizen and you have committed a crime that makes you deportable, already have a deportation order on your immigration record.
Once you are transferred to immigration detention, you will either have to stay detained or you might be able to bond out of immigration detention. Special risk! In general, if you have a prior deportation order or a serious criminal charges (see below for more details) you cannot bond out of immigration detention.
- See list of “mandatory detention” crimes that do not let you bond out of immigration detention: http://www.nolo.com/legal-enc
yclopedia/mandatory-detention- immigration-customs-hold-nonci tizen-without-bond.html
- For more information, see ACLU’s rights on the border – http://www.acluaz.org/sites/
default/files/documents/ACLU%2 0Border%20Rights%20ENGLISH_1.p df