Saturday, April 24, 2010

What To Do If Questioned By Police About Your Immigration Status In Arizona?

On April 23, 2010, the state of Arizona passed a law which allows the police to ask any person for proof of lawful residence or citizenship if they have reasonable suspicion to believe that he/she is in the country illegally. A warning to all citizens with dark complexions: bring your passports while traveling through Arizona because you may end up in a federal transfer detention center waiting your turn to be brought before a judge.

Having read the Arizona Bill, I can tell you that honest, hard working, but illegal aliens are now in a collision course with federal and state law with dire consequences for themselves and loved ones.

If you are an illegal alien and are questioned by the police, the best way to protect yourself is to remain silent. The fact is that you have no legal obligation to disclose any personal information to any police officer. Further, if the police officer insists, ask for an attorney immediately. You have constitutional rights and under the 5th amendment of the US constitution as applied by the US Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona, you have the following rights when questioned by the police if you are in custody or not free to leave:

1. You have the right to remain silent; and
2. You have the right to consult with an attorney.

Don’t forget that what you say to the police can be used against you. If you tell the police officer that you are in the US illegally, he/she can arrest you immediately without a warrant. After arrest, they can either take you to a detention center for transfer to federal custody or charge you with "trespassing" in the State of Arizona which can be a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances. After you serve your time for violating the Arizona trespass law, you are then taken into federal custody to be deported. Generally, while in deportation proceedings, you will be in federal custody while your case makes it through the courts.

Basically, if you are legal but have a dark complexion, make sure you bring your travel documents when in Arizona. If you are in the US illegally, don’t say a thing if questioned by the police because you will have the state and federal governments waiting in line to put you in jail, and take your property through fines and forfeiture laws.

The Arizona law is going to be overturned or strictly limited by the courts on various constitutional grounds. I am confident the drafters of the legislation were aware of the constitutional limits, but decided to ignore them in their attempt to deal with the crime and violence caused by some illegal aliens.

To say the least, a “misguided” way of dealing with an otherwise legitimate problem.

For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., visit us at or call us at 1-800-228-7295

1 comment:

Dinah Bee Menil said...

Nice site, very informative. I like to read this.,it is very helpful in my part for my criminal law studies.

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