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1. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO REVEAL YOUR IMMIGRATION STATUS.
2. DO NOT TALK TO THE INS, EVEN ON THE PHONE, before talking to an immigration
Many INS officers view "enforcement," meaning deporting people, as their primary job. They do not believe
that explaining immigration options is part of their job, and most will readily admit this. (Non-citizens who are
victims of domestic abuse should speak with an expert in both immigration law and domestic violence.) A
non-citizen should always speak with an immigration law expert before speaking to the INS either in person or
3. KNOW AND ASSERT YOUR RIGHTS!
All non-citizens have the following rights, regardless of your immigration status:
1. The right to speak to an attorney before answering any questions or signing any documents;
2. The right to a hearing with an Immigration Judge;
3. The right to have an attorney at that hearing and in any interview with INS (however you do not have
the right to a free, government-paid lawyer); and
4. The right to request release from detention, by paying a bond if necessary.
Non-citizens must assert these rights. If you do not demand these rights, you can be deported without
seeing either an attorney or a judge. Leaving the U. S. in this way may have serious consequences for
your ability to later enter or to gain legal immigration status in the U. S.
4. TALK TO AN IMMIGRATION LAWYER BEFORE LEAVING THE U. S. Anyone not a U. S.
citizen may be barred from coming back to the U. S. if they fall into certain categories of people barred from
entering. This includes some lawful permanent residents and applicants for green cards. Some noncitizens
that have been in the U. S. without INS permission may be permanently barred from re-entering. In addition,
some non-citizens that leave the US and return with INS permission may be swiftly removed from the U. S. if
they end up in immigration proceedings.
Contact Sikh Media watch & Resource Taskforce at 1-877-91-SIKHS if you have any questions.