It’s important for you to be aware of the rights you have in the US as an international student or scholar: the rights for US citizens and permanent residents are not the same as rights for people in non-immigrant statuses such as F-1 and F-2 or J-1 and J-2. Here are some basics for you to remember.
Please note, content on this page is not intended as legal advice. For further guidance, we recommend you consult with an attorney.
The Immigrant Defense Project has highlighted that people who are removable under immigration law are those at greatest risk: people present in the US after being ordered removed, people without lawful immigration status, and people with lawful immigration status who have certain criminal priors.
The Immigrant Defense Project has provided these recommendations:
The ACLU has provided further clarification on this right (see their Know Your Rights card):
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) emphasizes that an officer only has the right to enter your place of residence if they have a search warrant. If they do have a warrant, AILA recommends you ask them to slide it under the door or hold it up to a window. A search warrant is only valid if it has the correct name, correct address, and a judge’s signature.
See the ACLU information on What to Do When Encountering Law Enforcement at Airports and Other Ports of Entry into the US
The ACLU advises (on their Know Your Rights card) that you:
The NYU Know Your Rights Project, a collaboration between the NYU Office of Global Services and the Immigrant Defense Initiative, partners to provide student-led Know Your Rights presentations on campus and in the community. Community presentations are held in partnership with Black Alliance for Just Immigration.
Each September we seek NYU student leaders to participate and lead presentations both on-campus, focusing on issues that affect NYU students and staff, and in the community, focusing on rights during encounters with law enforcement. Interested in helping others learn their rights? We'll post more information about Student Leader roles in the project and details on the application process in August.