This information applies to border crossings and other ports of entry such as international airports and immigration checkpoints within border zones. 

1. Secure your electronic devices and data.

Lock your phone with a password, not finger or facial recognition.

2. Create an emergency plan.

Use this template to share your plan with friends and family so they know if you are detained. You should be allowed to make a phone call if you are taken to a jail or a detention center, so memorize the number of a contact who can coordinate your emergency plan.

3. Know your rights.

You have the right to remain silent. You do not have the right to free counsel, but you may hire a lawyer. You do not have to sign any documents. Anything you say can be used against you in court.

4. Write everything down.

If you are stopped, harassed, or detained, memorize and document the officer’s name, number, and other identifying information. You can ask “Why am I being detained?” and document the answer, which could help you later. Arguing with an officer could escalate the situation, so use your best judgement and prioritize your safety.

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The New York Civil Liberties Union is a state affiliate of the ACLU

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