Undocuweek kicks off with ‘Know Your Rights’ workshop


LEAD President, Evelyn Lucho, speaking about what agencies can or cannot request to see identification, Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, in Chico, CA. Photo credit: Christian Solis

“I do not wish to speak with you, answer your questions, or sign or hand you any documents based on my 4th amendment rights under the United States Constitution.”

This is one of many points outlined at the “Know Your Rights” workshop, part of Undocuweek, in the Student Services Center Monday afternoon.

The workshop kicked off Undocuweek at Chico State, which is a project put on by Leaders Educating for the Advancement of Dreamers, along with the Chico State Dream Center. Both groups are aimed at supporting the success of students and faculty on campus who may be either undocumented or come from mixed-status families.

The Dream Center provides many useful tools for these students, such as peer mentoring, academic advising and a computer lab. The center also hands out Red Cards, which are cards that the holder can use in a law enforcement encounter. These cards say that the holder would like to exercise their rights to refuse to speak, answer questions, sign documents or let law enforcement into their home.

Dream Center Director Teresita Curiel said that Undocuweeek is a vital way to bring rights-awareness to students and faculty who may be undocumented.

“The purpose is really to bring important and timely attention to both campus and national issues related to the undocumented student community,” Curiel said.

The workshop covered rights and procedures that can be very helpful to undocumented students when encountering law enforcement or Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Evelyn Lucho, Chico State student and president of Leaders Educating for the Advancement of Dreamers, outlined what works best when at home, in a vehicle or in the workplace.

Each different scenario can have many variables depending on who you are with or what you are doing. Lucho said that knowing what to do in every type of interaction can be very helpful.

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President of the Leaders Educating for the Advancement of Dreamers (LEAD), Evelyn Lucho, spoke to students about the rights you have when engaging with police and U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, in Chico, CA. Photo credit: Christian Solis

“You always want to know how to act appropriately,” she said.

Lucho mentioned that having a camera out to record an encounter you may have is a good tool to use in any of the scenarios you might be in. Mobile Justice CA is a mobile app that allows users to send these videos directly to the ACLU if needed.

According to the ACLU, Border Patrol is only allowed to set up immigration checkpoints within 100 miles of US borders — Chico sits much farther away than that.

“If you see an immigration checkpoint in Chico, it is illegal and you should report it immediately,” Lucho said.

Undocuweek continues through Friday, March 1, with more events and workshops along the way. Lucho said that this week is going to be helpful to a lot of people in Chico.

“It ensures that we feel safe on this campus,” Lucho said. “We’re trying to get across that these issues exist and are important.”

Trenton Taylor can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @theorion_news.