What should you do if a police officer asks about your immigration status?
Of course, we all know that even though they are not supposed to ask about your immigration status, sometimes they DO ask. It is important for everyone to refuse to answer questions about immigration status when they are stopped by local police.It is uncomfortable to refuse to answer a police officer’s questions. However, you should remember that they are the ones who are actually doing something wrong. You can respond by politely stating: “If I have done something wrong, then please give me a ticket, but I do not understand why you are asking me questions about my immigration status and I will not answer those questions.”
If you have status and have nothing to hide, should you answer questions from law enforcement about your immigration status?
NO. Even if you have status, you should still assert your rights and refuse to answer inappropriate questions about your immigration status. That way it isn’t only the undocumented people who refuse to answer. If the only ones asserting their rights are the ones who do not have legal status, then we will never be able to stop racial profiling.
Won’t police officers arrest me if I don’t answer their questions about my immigration status?
If you stand your ground and refuse to answer questions about immigration status, police officers won’t always leave you alone, because they don’t always follow the rules. But many police officers are not willing to blatantly break the rules, and will stop the questioning if you refuse to answer.I have found that most immigrants are honest people who are just trying to contribute to their communities and provide for their families. If stopped by police, the natural instinct is to be cooperative and honest, so many immigrants immediately tell police officers about their immigration status.The problem is that if you are undocumented and you tell the authorities about your status, they will almost always call immigration and put you in deportation proceedings. There is no way to talk your way out of the situation once you have told them that you are undocumented.I have heard from some police who did not even want to know about immigration status, but once they were told, they had to act on the information.Of course, other police officers always ask about it, and are trying to use the information against you. If they are trying to deport you, then you should not make their job any easier.If you don’t answer questions about your status, you might get put into deportation proceedings anyhow. But if you do answer questions, you are SURE to get arrested.So you should remain silent, but DO NOT falsely claim to be a U.S. citizen.