These materials were put together by the SOA Watch Legal Collective to ensure that attendees of the Border Convergence have the information they need for travel to and in Arizona, and that everyone knows their fundamental rights and those of others! If you still have questions after reading this, and/or do not have the required documentation proving your immigration status, please consult an immigration attorney before traveling to Arizona and/or Mexico.
Caution for SB 1070 – Be aware that parts of the notorious SB 1070 bill are still the law throughout Arizona. Most importantly, Section 2B of SB 1070 requires the Arizona police to inquire about immigration status if they have a “reasonable suspicion” that a person already stopped legally (for example through traffic or speeding stop) is unauthorized to be in the U.S. If have “reasonable suspicion” that a person already legally stopped is undocumented, police can then call ICE if doing so would not hinder an ongoing investigation and is practical. “However, even under SB 1070, it is illegal for the police to stop someone, or detain them for a long time, if it’s only to investigate their immigration status” – ACLU of Arizona Infographic.
We strongly advise all attendees that will be driving and/or drivers of vans or buses going to the Border Convergence to observe speed limits and other traffic regulations in Arizona.
SB 1070 and “Know Your Rights” in Arizona Resources:
- ACLU of Arizona: Understanding Arizona’s SB1070 and Your Rights
- ACLU of Arizona: SB 1070 Infographic
- Puente Movement: Know Your Rights – Arizona
Considerations for traveling to Arizona from other Parts of the US:
Apart from the usual considerations of speed traps and construction, all those driving to Arizona from other parts of the U.S. and from Arizona to another destination should check their routes in advance to determine if they may have to deal with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Checkpoints. CBP checkpoints operate within the 100-mile border zone that CBP claims as their jurisdiction. Within this zone, “federal regulations give US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authority to operate”, making all persons potentially subject to being stopped and questioned about their immigration status.
This link takes you to a google map in which known temporary and permanent CBP checkpoints are located. Author and reliability of this information are unknown, but checkpoint locations appear to be correct.
For more information from the ACLU on the Border Zone, please visit:
Considerations for those traveling to Tucson, Arizona:
Tucson is within the 100-mile border zone that the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) claims to be within their jurisdiction. Within this zone, “federal regulations give US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authority to operate”, making all persons potentially subject to being stopped and questioned about their immigration status.
Although community organizing has made CBP checkpoints uncommon in Tucson, please be aware that CBP reserves this right, and that CBP officers can often be seen driving in and around Tucson. Please consult with an immigration attorney if you have further questions regarding traveling to Arizona or within the 100-mile border zone.
- DACA or TPS recipients – It is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that you bring your Employment Authorization Document (EAD or “work permit”) and a State or Federal ID card (eg, driver’s license) to Arizona. Secondary ID documents proving your identity, such as a school ID or foreign passport are recommended. If your current EAD has expired or will expire before October 10, it is strongly recommendedthat you 1) consult with an immigration attorney, and 2) bring a Form I-797C, Notice of Receipt of I-821D proving that you have applied to renew your DACA or TPS. EADS based on TPS are automatically extended 6 months past their written expiration date, but these 2 recommendations stand if you have not have your new EAD.
- Undocumented persons – Please note the risks of traveling to Tucson on account of both SB 1070 and the CBP’s 100-mile border zone (please see above and below for additional information). If you are currently in immigration proceedings, please bring a copy of your Notice to Appear and/or Notice of Hearing for your next Immigration Court hearing, as this will protect you from further immigration action in any event.
- US Citizens – It is recommended that you bring a valid State or Federal ID card (eg, driver’s license)
- Permanent Residents – It is recommended that you bring your Green Card (I-551, Permanent Resident Card) and a valid State or Federal ID card (eg, driver’s license). Please see below for additional considerations if traveling south of Tucson and/or Mexico.
Considerations for those traveling to Nogales, Arizona:
*All of the above recommendations apply.
A CBP checkpoint operates between Tucson and Nogales, Arizona. It is essentially a second border, making all that travel from Nogales to Tucson subject to inspection and questioning regarding their immigration status.
- US Citizens – It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you bring a valid State or Federal ID card (eg, driver’s license). Those claiming U.S. Citizenship can be, and are still profiled on account of their race, skin color, accent, gender, and/or political affiliation.
- Permanent Residents – It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you bring a valid Green Card (I-551, Permanent Resident Card) and a valid State or Federal ID card (eg, driver’s license. Please see below for additional considerations if traveling into Mexico.
- DACA or TPS recipients – Please note that although you are legally present in the U.S., you will be traveling back through a CBP checkpoint upon leaving Nogales, AZ. It is therefore HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you bring an unexpired Employment Authorization Document (EAD or “work permit”) and an unexpired State or Federal ID card (eg, driver’s license). Additional ID documents proving your identity, such as a school ID or foreign passport are recommended. If your current EAD has expired or will expire before October 10, it is strongly recommendedthat you 1) consult with an immigration attorney, and 2) bring a Form I-797C, Notice of Receipt of I-821D proving that you have applied to renew your DACA or TPS. EADS based on TPS are automatically extended 6 months past their written expiration date, but these 2 recommendations stand if you do not have your new EAD.
- Undocumented persons – Unless you are already in immigration proceedings and awaiting your next Immigration Court hearing (please see above recommendations), there are significant risks for undocumented persons in the Nogales, Arizona region, as everyone is subject to CBP inspection and questioning at a CBP checkpoint upon traveling north, east, or west of Nogales, Arizona, and are therefore at risk of detention and/or deportation. There will be also be a Person of Color Space in Tucson, Arizona so that undocumented persons may attend the Convergence without having to travel to Nogales.
Considerations for those travelling to Nogales, Sonora (Mexico):
Know that you will be traveling out of the country, and therefore internationally. Crossing into Nogales, Mexico usually occurs without any interaction with Mexican immigration officials, although Mexico technically requires a valid passport for all visitors.
- US Citizens are required to bring a valid US Passport or US Passport Card to re-enter the U.S. In practice, U.S. citizens often forget their Passport or Passport Card when traveling to Nogales, Mexico, yet are often allowed back in the U.S. However, CBP reserves the right to deny entry to any person. Those claiming U.S. Citizenship, even with a valid Passport, are likely to be profiled due to their race, skin color, accent, gender, and/or political affiliation. We therefore highly discouragetraveling into Nogales, Sonora without a valid U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card, and do not have the capacity to support those that are denied entry into the U.S. for lack of required documentation.
- Permanent Residents are REQUIRED to present an unexpired Green Card (I-551, Permanent Resident Card) to re-enter the U.S. It is highly recommended that Permenent Residents also bring additional identity documents, such as a valid State or Federal ID card (eg, driver’s license) and/or a valid foreign passport to enter Mexico and re-enter the U.S. For additional information, please visit the USCIS website:
- DACA and TPS recipients – You are REQUIRED to obtain an I-131 Advance Parole Document to in addition to a valid foreign passport to re-enter the U.S. Processing times for Advance Parole Document are approximately 3 months, and you should therefore not plan on traveling into Mexico unless you have already obtained an Advance Parole Document, and/or knowingly risk/intend on permanently remaining outside of the U.S. and relinquishing your DACA or TPS status
- Undocumented persons – 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.
According to the ACLU:
- Border Patrol may stop vehicles at certain checkpoints to: (1) ask a few, limited questions to verify citizenship of the vehicles’ occupants and (2) visually inspect the exterior of a vehicle.
- Agents may send any vehicle to a secondary inspection area for the same purpose: brief questioning and visual inspection.
- Agents should not ask questions unrelated to verifying citizenship, nor can they hold you for an extended time without cause.
- Even though you always have the right to remain silent, if you don’t answer questions to establish your citizenship, officials may detain you longer in order to verify your immigration status.
- Border Patrol cannot search the interior of a vehicle without the owner’s consent or “probable cause” (a reasonable belief, based on the circumstances, that an immigration violation or crime has likely occurred).
- Agents can obtain probable cause for a search if a drug-sniffing dog legitimately “alerts” to the presence of drugs. If Border Patrol uses a drug-sniffing dog and falsely claims the dog has alerted to the presence of drugs or contraband in your vehicle, record as much information about the incident as possible and report it.
For more information regarding Know Your Rights with the Border Patrol, please visit:
Information related to arrest
If you are arrested as a non-citizen at the Convergence or in areas surrounding the Encuentro, you face possibly being transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Every jail in the area honors “ICE holds,” which means that when a person being held in a state jail or federal custody they believe to be an undocumented person or a non-citizen should be released, they may instead have an “ICE hold” placed on them, and then be immediately transferred to immigration custody and detention.
An ICE hold is especially likely once you are in jail if you:
- are suspected of being undocumented or illegally present in the U.S.
- committed a crime that makes you deportable (removable) from the U.S. (even with a green card/visa)
- have a prior or pending order of removal on your immigration record
For certain crimes, detention once transferred, will be mandatory and you will not be able to be released before the completion of removal proceedings or carrying out of the deportation order. If you are not required to be held, then you should be able to be released on bond.
Mandatory detention crimes: a prior removal order, two crimes involving moral turpitude, two or more offenses for which the confinement was 5 yrs or more, trafficking in a controlled substance, aggravated felony charges, drug offenses (except 1 offense of possession of less than 30 g of marijuana), firearms, crimes involving moral turpitude resulting in a sentence of 1 yr+, terrorist acuity, national security offense.