SI Advance: Legal Aid Society offers tips to concerned immigrants
FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 2017

The Advance reported on Legal Aid’s Know Your Rights discussion last weekend on Staten Island with government offices and other local community organizations.

SI Advance
Legal Aid Society offers tips to concerned immigrants
By Annalise Knudson
March 04, 2017

Yanira and Jorge of Port Richmond are worried about their children.

But they have different worries than most parents. The couple, who would only be identified by their first names as they are undocumented immigrants, worry about their children's fate if they are deported.

"Who can take care of my kids?" Yanira said.

The couple does not have family nearby in case their children are able to stay in the country.

The couple were among more than 50 concerned immigrants and community allies who gathered together on Saturday at Faber Park in Port Richmond to learn about their rights.

The community assembly was hosted by La Colmena, Partnerships for Parks and the Legal Aid Society.

Cousins Virginia and Gerardo of Port Richmond came to the assembly to gain insight, information and preparation.

"We are scared," Gerardo said. "About everything."

Virginia explained she has two children and she is mostly nervous for them.

"You're nervous because your child can stay here, but you can't," she said.

Margarita Sanchez, president of the board of La Colmena said that the assembly helps people get to know others in their community and the event brings both immigrants and supporters together.

"It's a lot of people from different neighborhoods to support the immigrants," Sanchez said.

The Legal Aid Society gave a presentation to speak about everyone's civil rights and to offer tips to immigrants. They explained several executive orders that were already signed and also explained unsigned executive orders that may be signed in the future that could affect immigrants.

The The Legal Aid Society offered the following advice:

  • Those who can be removed or reported are: Non-citizens, those who entered and overstayed their visa and those who entered without inspection.
  • Most common ways to get removed are: being arrested, traveling in airports or buses, if at a work site, immigration comes to your homes, or if you file an application with an immigration service.
  • If stopped by police, you do not have to give your immigration status. You cannot lie, but you have the right to remain silent.
  • Do not carry false documents or carry papers from another country.
  • If stopped by the police or immigration, carry or memorize your immigration lawyer's phone number, community service organization number or consulate's number.
  • Do not sign anything without knowing what you are signing.
  • If you do not understand what the person is saying, ask for an interpreter.

A representative from the NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs also spoke to the immigrants and supporters. For more information about Mayor de Blasio's message to immigrants, you can go to their website at