Pasadena immigrant rights attorney, Attorney Franklin Nelson, has been advocating for immigrant rights since he began practicing immigration law in 1994. During that time, he has helped many immigrant families (and individuals) to get a better understanding of their rights as immigrants living in the United States. Today he’s sharing a few important immigrant rights tips that he thinks all immigrants living in the U.S. need to know.
Pasadena Immigrant Rights Attorney Discusses Immigrant Rights
The Right to Due Process
Immigrants living in the United States are guaranteed the right to due process according to the fifth amendment. This was explained best in a New York Times article “Due Process for Undocumented Immigrants, Explained”
“Courts have consistently held that anyone on United States soil is protected by the Constitution’s right to due process, even if they illegally entered the country, though people generally have greater legal protections inside the country than at the border.”
What does this mean for you as an immigrant in the United States?
“…the Supreme Court says that due process allows people to exercise the legal rights and court processes afforded to them by American law, and it allows them to contest an action proposed by the government in front of a neutral decision maker, like a judge.”
Does it mean that as an immigrant you are granted this right? Despite the fact that you should be granted the right to due process, it is something that is very often denied to immigrants in the United States. If you are an immigrant who has been denied the right to due process, it’s imperative that you consult an immigrant rights attorney who can ensure that you are provided these rights that are guaranteed to you.
The Right to Legal Counsel
When it comes to the right to legal counsel, current federal immigration law states that immigrants in the United States have a right to legal counsel when they are facing removal proceedings; however, there is no guaranteed right to court-appointed counsel for immigrants since the Immigration and Nationality Act also states that this right to legal counsel is only realized when it is at no cost to the government. So essentially, an immigrant is only afforded the right to legal counsel when they are able to pay for that attorney out of pocket or when the attorney is willing to do the work pro-bono.
This current state of affairs is greatly contested by immigrant rights groups who are working hard to ensure that all immigrants in the U.S. have access to legal counsel to ensure that they are afforded an equal opportunity to state their case in court.
The Right to Be with Your Family
It is no secret that the separation of immigrant families at the U.S. and Mexico border and in U.S. detention centers was happening at an alarming rate in 2018. As immigrant rights attorney groups and immigrant rights support groups put increasing pressure on the government and court systems by proclaiming this practice not only to be cruel but to be unconstitutional. As we have already mentioned, immigrants in the United States are guaranteed a right to due process, however, this right to due process is being denied when families are being separated before they can even make their case in court.
This separation process has led to an infinite number of problems including children being “lost” in the system and left without parental care and children who have been dumped into the U.S. foster system after parents have been forced to sign over rights to allow someone else to care for their child while they are being detained in immigrant detention centers.
It was in June 2018 when the separation of families at the U.S. border was put to a stop after President Trump signed an order doing so. Despite this order, however, the practice of separating children from their parents seems still to be taking place and U.S. immigration rights attorney groups everywhere are continuing to monitor how this situation is changing and to push for better enforcement of due process and human rights for immigrants.
The Right to Education
In the United States, ALL CHILDREN are guaranteed the right to an education in the public K-12 school system even when they are an immigrant, even when they are a low-income immigrant, and even when they are an undocumented immigrant. This right is guaranteed by the Supreme Court ruling in Plyler vs. Doe when it was established that schools were not allowed to…
- Deny admission to a student during initial enrollment or at any other time on the basis of undocumented status.
- Treat a student differently to determine residency.
- Engage in any practices to “chill” the right of access to school.
- Require students or parents to disclose or document their immigration status.
- Make inquiries of students or parents that may expose their undocumented status.
- Require social security numbers from all students, as this may expose undocumented status. (Adults without social security numbers who are applying for a free lunch and/or breakfast program on behalf of a student need only indicate on the application that they do not have a social security number. )
Additionally, it stated that:
“A school district may not request a student’s or parent’s social security number unless it (1) informs the individual that disclosure is voluntary, (2) provides the statutory or other legal basis for why the district is requesting the number, and (3) explains how the district will use the number.”
Need an Immigrant Rights Attorney in Pasadena?
If you need the assistance of an immigrant rights attorney in Pasadena, Florida, Attorney Franklin Nelson can help! Just pick up the phone and call 626-683-3451 to make a consultation appointment right away!