BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
The Legal Aid society made Long Island City the second stop for its Know Your Rights tour on Monday as representatives talked with the neighborhood’s immigrant community about the latest executive orders from President Donald Trump and informed attendees of their rights.
Legal Aid Society Civil Practice Attorney Jona Cosio and Juvenile Rights Attorney Alex Turbin presented a PowerPoint presentation at CS 111Q in Long Island City.
Cosio began the presentation by discussing the immigration executive orders signed by Trump and talked about instances in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials could deport undocumented people based on their immigration status.
Cosio said that persons could be deported if they are arrested, travel out of the country or if someone tips off the authorities regarding their immigration status.
One attendee asked if illegal immigrants could face arrest or deportation if they were to go to an emergency room.
“Hospitals shouldn’t be sharing that information,” Cosio said, adding that under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), all medical information is safeguarded.
Cosio also discussed how an illegal immigrant could obtain legal citizenship as well as some alternatives, such as obtaining a U-visa, temporary protected status (TPS) and refugee asylum status.
Regardless of status, Cosio said that immigrants have the right to remain silent if questioned by ICE officers. If agents knock at their door, they have the right to ask for a search warrant. Esteva noted that if a family feels unsafe opening their door, they can ask officers to slide the warrant underneath the door, so that they can make sure it is signed, before letting them in.
The Legal Aid Society also mentioned that children have a right to attend public school, regardless of their status.
“A lot of kids have been missing school because their parents are afraid that they will drop their child off, but won’t be able to pick them up because ICE will deport them,” Esteva said.