There’s no denying that undocumented immigrants, non-citizens with some form of legal status and full citizens are not equal in the eyes of American law. But a lack of equal rights isn’t the same as a lack of rights altogether. And ultimately, no right really exists unless someone asserts it. It’s for those reasons that making immigrants aware of their rights and how to act on them has been a major focus for advocates amid the Trump administration’s rapid escalation of immigration enforcement.
A new toolkit offers a comprehensive look at the steps New Yorkers can take to protect themselves and their families. Available in English and Spanish, the online resource released late last week by LawHelpNY, a project of Pro Bono Net, provides a card for immigrants to carry on their person and explains what to do if you’re asked about your immigration status, if Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) stops you, if you’re subjected to an airport screening and if you or a loved one are detained. It also offers tools to understand your options under the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program, find someone in immigration detention, get a lawyer, report ICE raids and alert the public to immigration scams.