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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

The rights of undocumented immigrants

Know+your+rights+workshop+with+Elizabeth+Alaniz+and+Aldo+Photo+credit%3A+Allison+Clark
Know your rights workshop with Elizabeth Alaniz and Aldo Photo credit: Allison Clark

Know Your Rights workshops are being hosted on campus to help undocumented students, Chico State and community members who have fears in light of the current political situation.

Elizabeth Alaniz, assistant director of the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office, runs the Know Your Rights workshops and other aids for undocumented students on campus.

She brings guest speakers to the workshops so students can receive as much information as possible. Aldo, a guest speaker who requested his last name be omitted because of his legal status, gave a presentation to let Chico community members know what their rights are, what action they can take if detained by ICE and lawyers and organizations who can help.

According to the workshop, undocumented immigrants have three rights.

They have the right to:

1. Remain silent.

2. Not have their homes searched or intruded upon without a search warrant.

3. Have an attorney. They are not entitled to a free attorney and must pay the costs out of pocket.

Aldo encourages anyone to attend these workshops, including documented allies.

“Try and inform yourself as best you can and know that as a US citizen, you can use your agency to stand up for immigrant rights,” Aldo said.

Any undocumented person should have an emergency backup plan, he said.

“If ICE detains me, who am I calling, who can come get me, who can call a lawyer for me?” Aldo said.

For undocumented people who do not have a backup plan, Aldo and Alaniz said they should do research, begin calling lawyers and get price quotes to be prepared. An organization called E4FC, Educators for Fair Consideration, can also help give information, apply for visas, and gain legal status.

Chico State allies can also join Leaders Educating for the Advancement of Dreamers, an organization that promotes the well-being and advancement of undocumented students. LEAD aims to teach students how to advocate, protect themselves and take action in a safe and legal way if there is an injustice.

daca student.jpg
Jamie Cabrera, participant in Know Your Rights event Photo credit: Allison Clark

“In a community where it’s a majority white, we need these safe spaces to go to,” said Jamie Cabrera, a Chico State student attending a free workshop to learn about the rights of undocumented immigrants.

Cabrera said allies and undocumented students should take advantage of LEAD as a resource on campus, come to meetings and join to stay informed.

“There are a lot of people who are not comfortable outing their information status who will not come to the meetings,” Cabrera said.

Alaniz encourages research and wants students to be prepared.

“We don’t want to panic people,” Alaniz said. “But at the same time, we want them to be ready to help friends, family, and themselves.”

Allison Clark can be reached at [email protected] or @maladaynews on Twitter.

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