By: Jianna Vasquez
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico and the department of Arts and English, hosted a “Know Your Rights” workshop on February 24, at Williams Hall.
“People have a lot of questions about their rights,” said project coordinator of ACLU of New Mexico, Erica McDowell.
ACLU is a nonprofit and nonpartisan that has been working for nearly 100 years, to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution of the Unites States guarantees for everyone in this country.
“It was important to not only bring this issue to NMSU, but also to the whole community,” said McDowell.
* You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud.
* You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car or your home.
* If you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly leave.
* You have the right to a lawyer if you are arrested. Ask for one immediately.
* Regardless of your immigration or citizenship status, you have constitutional rights.
IF YOU ARE STOPPED FOR QUESTIONING
* Stay Calm
Don’t run, argue or obstruct the police even if you are innocent or police are violating your rights.
* Ask if you are free to leave.
If the officer says yes, calmly and silently walk away.
* You do not have to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings
but police may “pat down” your clothing if they suspect a weapon
IF YOU ARE STOPPED IN YOUR CAR
* Stop the car in a safe place as quickly as possible and show police your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance, upon request.
* If an officer or immigration agent ask to look inside your car, you can refuse to consent to the search. But if police believe your car contains evidence of a crime, your car can be searched without your consent.
* Both drivers and passengers have the right to remain silent
If you are a passenger, you can ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, sit silently or calmly leave.
IF YOU ARE QUESTIONED ABOUT YOUR IMMIGRATION STATUS
* You have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status.
* If you are not a U.S citizen and an immigration agent request your immigration papers, you must show them if you have them with you.
If you are over 18, you should carry your immigration documents with you at all times. If you do not have immigration papers, say you want to remain silent.
* Do not lie about your citizenship status or provide fake documents
* If the police or immigration agents come to your home, you do not have to let them in unless they have certain kinds of warrants.
* Do not resist arrest
IF YOU FEEL YOUR RIGHTS HAVE BEEN VIOLATED
Remember: Police misconduct cannot be challenged on the street
* Write down everything you remember
* File a complaint
* Call your local ACLU
For any information on your rights you can contact ACLU of New Mexico at
(575) 527-0664 or visit http://www.ACLU.org