Vital info of reform legislation available
BY LEIGH BELL World Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
5/23/07 at 10:39 AM
Pamphlets for non-U.S. citizens will be available across the state.
Directions for non-U.S. citizens who are arrested are part of a campaign to educate the public about the state's controversial immigration-reform law.
The recently signed House Bill 1804 requires law enforcement personnel by November to verify if people arrested for certain crimes are in the country legally.
Similar requirements for the Tulsa Police Department are expected to be approved by the Tulsa City Council, with the backing of Mayor Kathy Taylor.
The campaign is organized by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Oklahoma council and other organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma.
Pamphlets guiding non-citizens in the event of an arrest will be distributed at "Community Conversations" planned in cities across the state.
The first in Tulsa will be in early June. Time and location are yet to be announced. Leaders will discuss how HB 1804 affects those living in Oklahoma, legally and illegally.
"It's related to the degree of fear people were having and the increased enforcement," said Stan McKay, an Oklahoma City-based immigration attorney who is helping write the pamphlets.
Advice from the pamphlets includes:
- Get power of attorney for someone to take care of your children, your home and other business.
- Know your immigration number, if you have one.
- Keep contact information of a lawyer familiar with immigration law.
- If law enforcement wants to enter your home, ask for a search warrant. Observe the officer while he or she is inspecting your home to verify it is only in authorized areas.
- If you are apprehended, do not lie. You do not have to say anything before speaking with an attorney.
- If you are here illegally, do not volunteer that information to law officers.
- If you are apprehended, do not sign anything or declare yourself culpable without first speaking to an attorney.
- If you are arrested, know who is arresting you. Get the law-enforcement agency and badge number of the arresting officer.
- If convicted, consult an immigration lawyer to determine if the crime will affect your presence in the United States.
For more information, visit www.aclu.org .
Leigh Bell 581-8465