UFW explains your rights

Aubrianna Martinez, Senior Digital Editor

Attorney Claudia Lopez from the United Farm Workers (UFW) foundation led the virtual presentation titled “Know Your Rights” which focused on walking the attendees through the legalities surrounding the standard detaining procedure if one is approached by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Lopez led a well-organized and clear presentation that detailed the differences between a deportation order and a signed court order, “[a deportation order] does not have the same validity for entering your home as does the court order.”

Lopez also addressed the importance of understanding one’s rights that are granted by the Constitution, “everyone, regardless of status, inside this country has constitutional protections and is protected under the Constitution,” Lopez stated.

Lopez explained that the 14th Amendment specifically grants undocumented immigrants rights equal to that of any naturalized citizen within the United States.

As an attorney, Lopez spoke on the matter of the legalities of one of the Homeland Security agencies gaining access to an undocumented immigrant’s home. As they cannot enter without a signed court order, their other option for gaining entry is through gaining permission.

“It doesn’t matter if the person who opens that door is not an adult; if a child goes to that door because someone is knocking and decides to open that door, ICE is going to take that as an invitation that they are allowed to enter,” Lopez said.

She emphasized the importance of clear communication between an undocumented immigrant and their housemates, family, employers, and even friends who they may drive, reiterating that by not communicating clearly and effectively with those who do not know the real and serious consequences of what they do and say, this can create both short and long-term problems for the undocumented persons involved. She accompanied this by adding that in case of emergencies, undocumented persons should have a person who they trust who is responsible for reaching out to their family members to notify them of the undocumented person’s detained status if they are arrested or otherwise detained.