Know Your Rights!

On Tuesday, March 13, 2018,  student’s and staff of Chabot College as well as community members of Hayward and also myself and peer Lorenzo Callabero had the opportunity to attend a Know Your Rights workshop here on campus in building 800 room 810.

The Workshop was broken up into two different components, learning how to deal with immigration officials and providing time to speak with an attorney.

Yoshira Mendez of Centro Legal de la Raza is a “Know Your Rights” Coordinator, and she was the primary person who lead the lecture part of the workshop.

Jesica Belen Tenaglia, Immigration Paralegal, and Jean Yamasaki, Immigration Senior Staff Attorney, were the two lawyers who also represented Centro Legal de la Raza.

Centro Legal de la Raza is a community-based organization with over 48 years of experience in the Oakland community.  What Centro Legal does is provide legal services to low-income individuals all over the Bay Area and The Central Valley.

The reason for the workshop is to fight the fear with preparation.

The workshop started with a powerpoint presentation. In this presentation, we went over the topics including knowing your rights at home,  in the streets, and at work.

For the know your rights at home presentation, Mendez went over information such as

  • Don’t open the door under any circumstances
  • Don’t give out personal detail
  • Know the difference between an arrest/search warrant
  • ICE will try not to make themselves known
  • Don’t have a conversation with ICE
  • ICE is not allowed to team up with local law enforcement

For the streets, this information was given out

  • Don’t lie to ICE officials
  • Just remain silent and say you have the right to remain silent (Pull out red card)
  • Ask if you’re being arrested or detained, but don’t answer any questions
  • If you’re not being arrested, ask if you’re free to leave
  • AGAIN you have the RIGHT to remain SILENT
  • ICE is not allowed to enter schools, churches, and hospitals
  • ICE cannot refuse your right to an attorney

For work, it was instructed that

  • Unless you work in a public workspace, ICE cannot enter a workplace without a warrant signed by a judge or permission from your employer

At Chabot College, since becoming a sanctuary school if ICE was to come on campus instructors have been instructed to close the door, step outside and let them know that campus security will help them.

After going through those three powerpoints, Yoshi then goes on talking about what would happen if you were to be detained.  She goes into detail and the five steps that you should do. Here are those five steps:

  1. IMMEDIATELY ask for a phone call and attorney
  2. Don’t sign any documents if an attorney is not present
  3. Scream or politely say “I am afraid to go back to my country.”
  4. Don’t disclose what country you’re from (don’t show passports, visa card or anything)
  5. Don’t disclose anything when making a phone call to a family member. ICE could be listening.  Only tell family members I am detained in this location and the A number.

The A number is an essential key for families and the attorney to know your location.  After making a phone call, stay completely silent. Just remember your rights and that they should be respecting your rights.

As the powerpoint ended the final topic that was brought up was the importance of having a safety plan.

  • You should memorize numbers of at least two family members you trust
  • Have a plan with your family
  • Keep all your documentation together and in SAFE location.

Just remember that we do HAVE RIGHTS and that we should advocate for those who are too afraid to speak up for themselves.

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