The “migra.” It’s the most feared word of illegal immigrants in the United States. In 2018, 256,085 undocumented immigrants were sent back to their countries and 158,581 were arrested, according to federal government statistics.
On average, 6 out of every 10 immigrants deported had committed a crime in the past. The remaining individuals were people who came to America looking for better opportunities: ordinary people in pursuit of the dream of living in a country where everything seems possible.
Despite the efforts of migration authorities to control the entry and illegal stay of foreigners, the number of undocumented immigrants in the entire US territory is estimated at 11 million. Although the Constitution prohibits the entry of these people into the country, once inside, it does grant them rights and protects them against ethnic and racial discrimination.
If you are an illegal immigrant, this is what you should know:
- You have the right to be treated in the emergency room
Whenever a person’s life is in danger, hospitals in the United States are required to provide emergency care, regardless of the patient’s immigration status. Medical care is very expensive and an accident, regardless of what it is, can leave huge financial losses for a family. Therefore, if you were the victim of an accident (from a slip and fall to a car crash), contact an experienced personal injury attorney, like us.
- Your children have the right to study
A Supreme Court decision of 1982 forces US public schools to receive all children in their classrooms, regardless of their immigration status, ethnicity, religion or gender. In addition, teachers must respect the privacy of children and their families and under no circumstances may they disclose data to immigration authorities.
- You have the right to worker’s compensation
Illegal immigrants, obviously, are not allowed to work in the United States. However, illegal immigrants still represent a significant percentage of the unqualified workforce. What they do have a right to is workers’ compensation, which is defined as money that all workers in America receive when they get sick or get injured because of their work, whatever their immigration status is.
The workers’ compensation processes are complicated and any minimal error can make you lose the case (and your money). Therefore, if you have a workers’ compensation case, contact a workers’ comp attorney like those available in our firm.
When Facing Immigration Authorities
- Being an illegal immigrant is not a crime
Staying illegally in the United States is a civil issue, but it is not a crime. What is a crime is to re-enter American territory fraudulently after the first deportation. In 1996, Congress passed a law that vets the entry of people who were illegally staying in the country. If they stayed between six months and 364 days, the “punishment” is for three years. If they were here for more than a year, the sanction is ten.
- You have the right to remain silent
It may sound like movie advice, but always remember that everything you say can be used against you. No immigration officer can force you to answer questions: only a judge can do it. If you have a problem with the immigration authorities, or if you are arrested, it is best to remain silent until you have an experienced attorney on your side.
- You have the right to a lawyer
If the “migra” stops you, it is best to call an immigration attorney immediately. Most people who are deported do not have legal representation and assume their own defense. At the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) you can find the help you need.
- You have the right to a trial
If you fall into the hands of the “migra,” you have two options: you agree to be deported immediately or request your right to a trial and a lawyer. Going to trial increases your chances of a lower sanction.
- Without order, there is no raid
The police cannot enter your home without your permission unless they have a warrant from a judge. If they do not have the order and still insist with the house raid, do not object. Call a lawyer!
Attorneys at Proner & Proner are experienced in personal injury cases and have defended dozens of immigrant victims of accidents, especially accidents at work. If you have an accident, call us at 1-800 627 9627. The consultation is totally free and we only charge if we win the case. Leave your claim in the best hands!
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.