In this new state of discrimination, knowing your rights is the best thing you can do to stay safe and avoid arrest. But there are extra steps you should take that could save your life if and when racial profiling happens to you.


Family Preparedness

Talk to your kids about their immigration status – if you have children or grandchildren who were brought across the border and think they are residents but aren’t, now is the time to have some honest conversations.

Have a plan – everyone in your family should know where your documents are and how to protect themselves in the event of racial profiling, arrest, or deportation.

Update emergency contacts and your children’s schools and designate an emergency caretaker who can care for your children and make decisions for them if the unthinkable happens.

You can also work with a lawyer to prepare a “Power of Attorney” letter giving another person authority to care for your children and manage your assets if you are unable to do so.

See our Resources page for help making a plan for your family

Driving Safe & Smart

Don’t give the police any reason to pull you over – obey traffic laws, fix broken tail lights, make sure your vehicle registrations and inspections are up-to-date.

Avoid attracting attention – drive a discreet neutral-colored vehicle if you can, get your windows tinted, stay away from flashy aftermarket modifications that make your car stand out.

Consider installing a dash cam on your car – get video evidence of any police encounter to better protect yourself from prosecution.

You have the right to not be discriminated against on the basis of your race, ethnicity or national origin – if the authorities discriminate against you, you should record what happened in as much detail as possible, and contact an attorney for help.

Pulled over and/or arrested? Never lie to the police, never show false documents, and (most importantly) always know your rights!

The Right Documentation

If you are a U.S. Citizen or have documentation proving lawful status of some kind, carry that documentation with you at all times. It could keep you out of jail.

If you do not have proof of lawful status, but do have foreign identification such as your passport from your country of origin, consider leaving that foreign documentation AT HOME. In most cases, it will do nothing to help you and may subject you to arrest.

Beware of documentation scams – don’t trust anyone selling papers that “prove” you came here legally.

Learn more about documentation

Find a Good Lawyer

Research immigration and/or civil rights attorneys in your area and know who to call in case you are arrested or detained.

Meet with an immigration attorney to see if you are eligible to apply for legal status (if you do not already have such status).

Remember that a notary and an attorney are different titles in the United States. Only a U.S. immigration attorney or Department of Justice Accredited Representative can legally provide legal advice.

If asked questions about your immigration status or arrest, remember: you have the right to an attorney!

Let’s take care of each other! Share these helpful must-dos with your community!