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What should you do if confronted by immigration officials?

With so much anti-immigration sentiment across Florida and the United States, those who are immigrants in the United States may be feeling anxious lately. There are many people who are worried about immigration raids at their place of employment or other area they frequently visit. If a person is stopped by an immigration and naturalization service official there are certain things they should keep in mind.

There have been many recent accounts in Florida of immigration raids. These accounts are making immigrants nervous that they may be next. Immigration officials have the authority to board any vessel within the United States and any vehicle within 100 miles of a land or sea border, which is the entire state of Florida.

If a person finds themselves in this situation they should first remain silent and refuse to answer questions. You may want to give your name and date of birth so that relatives can find you, but do not answer any more questions. Next, do not lie about being a citizen, give false identification documents or sign any papers without legal representation. U.S. born citizens should have a way to access proof of citizenship in order to avoid being detained. Naturalized immigrants can let officials know that they are citizens, but they would also need to prove their citizenship to avoid being detained. Permanent residents should keep their immigration documents with them and stay calm and silent. It is also advised that a family have a plan of action in place in case someone is detained by immigration officials.

An attorney who specializes in immigration can help their client if they are detained by immigration officials. They will aggressively work to defend their client and keep the family together.

Source: miamiherald.com, "What to do if an Immigration or Border Patrol officer confronts you", Daniel Shoer Roth, Jan. 26, 2018

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