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Holiday Travel Tips for Immigrants
It’s the holiday season and millions of Americans are traveling to be with their families for Thanksgiving. To ease your national security concerns, up to 3000 behavior detection officials are watching your every move at 161 airports nation-wide to spot ‘terrorists’ before they can cause any trouble. It seems like Homeland Security is taking ‘Lie to Me’ a bit too seriously.
Given how serious the Department of Homeland Security is about categorizing migrant workers as criminals, looking like an immigrant this holiday season is self-incrimination so here are some safety tips.
Avoid Amtrak and Greyhound, especially in Upstate New York, Louisiana and within 50 miles of the borders. ICE officials regularly do random sweeps of Greyhound buses and many unsuspecting undocumented immigrants have fallen prey. Use Megabus instead and the California Bus Shuttle on the West Coast.
If you are undocumented, print out a copy of ‘Airport Travel Tips for Undocumented Immigrants.’ Avoid Atlanta, Georgia and Newark, New Jersey and other airports close to the border. Do not travel using an expired passport. Some undocumented students have reported traveling with their student identification by feigning that they are under 18. This is not advised.
If you are a U.S. citizen of Hispanic origin, carry your passport at all times. Skin color is a proxy for ‘illegal status.’
When undocumented, try not to cross the border to party in Tijuana or drive into Canada.
Do not travel to U.S. territories like the Virgin Islands without U.S.-government-issued identification. You may not make it back.
Also, do not drink and drive. While a DUI does not take away your eligibility for the DREAM Act or immigration reform, getting caught may just put you on a pathway to deportation.
Please know your rights. If you are undocumented and get stopped by immigration officials, you have the right to remain silent. Under no circumstance should you admit that you are a non-citizen because then the burden to proof your legal presence falls squarely on your shoulders.
I hope everyone has a safe and celebratory holiday season.
(Photo Credit: gfxdave99’s photostream)
Please note: Nothing in this post denotes legal advice or is offered in substitution of advice from a lawyer. Success is not guaranteed and different people have different results.