Expert has advice for immigrants under President Trump
An executive order from President Donald Trump will crack down on so-called sanctuary cities like New York that offer protections for undocumented immigrants.
There are almost 500,000 undocumented immigrants in the Big Apple and 11 million nationally, according to Anna Law, an immigration and constitutional professor at Brooklyn College.
"There aren't enough federal enforcement agents within the country," Law says. "In order to actually round up 2 to 3 million people, he (the president) would need to, he would need the help of local law enforcement. And some states will cooperate, and some cities will -- and others will not."
To punish the cities that don't cooperate, the president's move will cut funding for them.
Mayor Bill de Blasio blasted the move and cited a 2012 Supreme Court decision on a related matter.
"We believe the order is vague and sometimes contradictory," de Blasio says. "Supreme Court Justice (John) Roberts in 2012 said it is inappropriate for the federal government to attempt to take federal funding, broad brush, away from a state or city because of broad policy matters."
A draw-down in funding from the departments of Justice and Homeland Security would impact the NYPD directly, the mayor says.
The order led to protests around the city, including one at Madison Square Park Wednesday night and another in the Bronx on Thursday.
Law says immigrants should know their own rights. People with green cards should carry them to show to federal law enforcement agents. Immigrants should also not let anyone into their homes without proper reason.
"You need to ask for a warrant, and even if they're screaming that they're immigration you say, 'Great. I'm electing not to answer questions about my immigration status until I talk to a lawyer and also I need to see the warrant if you're going to enter my home,'" Law says.
Immigrants should also consult a lawyer before signing any papers, she adds.
The New York Civil Liberties Union also offers a "Know Your Rights" card to help.