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Arizona Immigration Law Part 2: Documents Foreign Nationals Should Carry While Traveling

Posted by Ann Badmus | Aug 16, 2012 | 0 Comments

In our previous article we discussed the Supreme Court's recent ruling upholding a provision of the controversial Arizona immigration law which allows law enforcement officials to check a person's immigration status during a lawful stop, detainment, or arrest. In light of this provision, it is important for foreign workers working and/or traveling in Arizona to be aware of what documents to keep on them in order to avoid what American Bar Association President William T. Robinson II called “unnecessary, prolonged detention of individuals who are lawfully present in the United States.”
  1. Know Your Rights Regardless of your immigration or citizenship status, you have constitutional rights in the United States. We always encourage cooperation with law enforcement officials if you are ever stopped. But also be aware that you have the following rights:-  You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud.
    –  You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself or your car.
    –  If you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly leave.
    –  If you are arrested, you have a right to a lawyer. Ask for one immediately.Always remember: stay calm and be polite. Never interfere with or obstruct law enforcement. NEVER lie or give false documents. Finally, if you ever feel your rights have been violated, file a written complaint, and contact an attorney.
  2. If You Are Questioned About Your Immigration Status, we recommend you have documentation on your person when you travel, such as permanent resident card, temporary resident identification card, or employment authorization document.Always remember, you have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status with police, immigration agents or any other officials. You do not have to answer questions about where you were born, whether you are a U.S. citizen, or how you entered the country. (Separate rules apply at international borders and airports, and for individuals on certain nonimmigrant visas, including tourists and business travelers.)

If you are not a U.S. citizen and an immigration agent requests your immigration papers, you must show them if you have them with you.If you are over 18, carry your immigration documents with you at all times. If you do not have immigration papers, say you want to remain silent.

About the Author

Ann Badmus

Principal and Managing Attorney


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