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Earlier this week my office held a training to share information for members of our community who want to better understand how to support our immigrant community in light of the national conversation.Thank you to everyone who joined me for the event.
Photo by Jeffery Barnes, The Prince George's Sentinel
We streamed the majority of the evening on Facebook live in three sections. We paused the video in the middle to allow a woman who does not have documentation to share her personal story and then had a minor technical issue at the end.
Printable information about the rights of immigrants is available in numerous languages from the ACLU. I encourage you to share this information with your neighbors, churches, and community organizations. Their comprehensive guide can be found here.
A few of the key points we learned:
It is crucial for individuals to memorize their "A Number" (Alien Registration Number) if they have one and treat it as carefully as one would treat a social security number. Make sure your family and emergency contacts have a copy of your A Number. They will need it if you are detained.
Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)can not enter a home without permission or a valid arrest warrant. Arrest warrants are only valid if: they are dated within the past 14 days and they are signed by a judge and they include the correct full name and address of the individual. Many times ICE uses/shows INVALID arrest warrants!
Individuals who are not U.S. Citizens should sign a DHS privacy release and keep it in a safe place where family/trusted friend can find it; if you are detained this will allow U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen's office to advocate on your behalf. He has several staff members who work exclusively on deportation and immigration cases.
All individuals have the right to remain silent. You have the right to refuse to sign anything. You do not have to talk to ICE or answer their questions. Do not tell them about your place of birth, immigration status, or how you entered the country. Do not tell them about your family members.
How Can You Help?
Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Servicesprovides high-quality, low-cost legal services to immigrants. They seek to help all clients, regardless of religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or legal status. They always need volunteers who speak second languages and attorneys who are interested in representing clientspro bono. If you would like to volunteer, please email Jim Feroli email@example.com.
TheCapital Area Immigrants' Rights (CAIR) Coalitionstrives to ensure equal justice for all immigrant adults and children at risk of detention and deportation in the Capital region area and beyond through direct legal representation, know your rights presentations, impact litigation, advocacy, and the enlistment and training of attorneys to defend immigrants.Prince George's County has partnered with CAIR Coalition to provide free representation to Prince George's County residents who are detained. CAIR Coalition is in need of volunteers to visit detention facilities, translate/interpret, and answer their hotline. Contact volunteer coordinator Jessica firstname.lastname@example.org fill out thisonline interest form.
CASA's mission is to create a more just society by building power and improving the quality of life in working class and immigrant communities. During these uncertain times, CASA is organizing our community through Know Your Rights events and being on the ground if there is any ICE activity.Learn more.
Only together can the gifts of Prince George's County be unwrapped by all.
Only together, can we strengthen our County, our communities, our families, and realize our fullest potential.
Only together, as one County, can our tapestry, our story, and our County shine bright.
As always, feel free to reach out to a member of my District 3 team or me if we can help you in any way. #onlytogether