FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LUPE Updates Travel Advisory for DACA Recipients
Traveling through Border Patrol checkpoints may result in removal proceedings, LUPE warns
This travel advisory was updated on 11/21/2017
SAN JUAN, TX—La Union del Pueblo Entero is updating a “travel alert” today to inform DACA recipients considering travel to the Texas/Mexico border region in the near future to anticipate possible detention and other violations by Border Patrol officials, including being put into removal proceedings.
The alert comes amid cases of Dreamers with valid DACA permits being detained at Border Patrol interior checkpoints for hours or even days. In addition, LUPE has documented cases of Dreamers with valid DACA cards being put into removal proceedings after facing scrutiny at Border Patrol interior checkpoints north of the Rio Grande Valley.
DACA Holders Cautioned
DACA recipients should be prepared for increased scrutiny of their DACA eligibility and the possibility of being transferred into ICE custody for long-term detention and deportation.
DACA recipients that should strongly consider not traveling to or from the border region include:
- DACA recipients with a current invalid DACA, regardless if DACA has been submitted for renewal.
- DACA recipients with a current DACA, who may have had a brief or innocent departure prior to applying to DACA and reported on their initial DACA application.
- DACA recipients with current DACA, who may have had an encounter with law enforcement (excluding traffic violations).
- DACA recipients with current DACA, who may have had an encounter with law enforcement after obtaining DACA (excluding traffic violations).
All other DACA recipients should exercise caution if traveling to and from the border region.
The travel alert applies to all DACA recipients traveling to and from the Texas/Mexico border region by car, bus, or plane. Additionally, this alert applies to all encounters with Border Patrol officials.
Know Your Rights
All individuals have rights in encounters with Border Patrol. Dreamers should be prepared to defend their rights. To that end, DACA recipients are encouraged to:
- Know their rights in an encounter with immigration officials.
- Memorize the phone number of a family member who can reach an immigrant rights organization or reputable immigration lawyer on their behalf.
- In the case of a detention, Dreamers should know not to sign anything without first consulting with a reputable immigration lawyer.
- Memorize their A# or USCIS# as it will be needed to locate them in detention facilities or the immigration system.
Know Your Rights materials can be found in English here and Spanish here. All DACA recipients are invited to attend LUPE’s Know Your Rights information sessions. A list of upcoming sessions can be found at LUPE’s offices.
“DACA recipients need to know the risk they are taking when traveling and should be prepared,” said Claudia Garcia, immigration service provider with LUPE and BIA accredited representative. “Border Patrol may say you no longer qualify for DACA and could put you in deportation proceedings. You have the right to a hearing in front of an immigration judge and to defend your case.”
An official US Customs and Border Protection memo obtained by KRGV instructs border agents to reevaluate DACA recipients to determine whether their deferred action “may no longer be appropriate” and can be “terminated immediately.” The memo continues, “Even if the deferred action cannot be terminated immediately, the agent may process the individual for removal.” No reports suggest the memo is being implemented outside of Border Patrol road and airport checkpoints. However, the memo is not limited to checkpoints and therefore Dreamers are cautioned to be prepared in any encounter with border agents.
If you are a DACA recipient and have been detained at a Border Patrol checkpoint, tell LUPE your story by calling 956-787-2233 from Mon – Fri, 9 am – 12 pm, 1 pm – 6 pm.
LUPE is a nonprofit organization that helps the community organize for and win a better quality of life. LUPE was founded in 1989 by farmworker and civil rights leaders Cesar E. Chavez and Dolores Huerta. We are a membership-based organization and our strength is found in the participation of our over eight thousand members. LUPE is a member organization of the RGV Equal Voice Network.
Learn more about LUPE online at www.lupenet.org