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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

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Liberal Arts, law school host ‘Know Your Rights’ workshop

Professor+of+Law+and+Director+of+Immigrant+Rights+Clinic%2C+Fatma+Marouf%2C+spoke+at+the+Know+Your+Rights+workshop+educating+the+audience+on+immigration+legal+options.
Photo by Photo by Aimee Rodriguez

Professor of Law and Director of Immigrant Rights Clinic, Fatma Marouf, spoke at the ‘Know Your Rights’ workshop educating the audience on immigration legal options.

On Friday, the College of Liberal Arts, in collaboration with the School of Law, hosted the Know Your Rights Workshop, a workshop aimed to inform students and residents on their legal and civil liberties.
The workshop provided an overview specifically for citizens who identify as LGBT or fall within religious minority, as well as citizens of diverse immigration statuses such as international students or DACA/DAPA recipients. DACA/DAPA are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, respectively, are immigration policies that provides deferred action to undocumented immigrants who qualify.
Presenters included Attorney Karon Howden and professors from the School of Law. Professor Huyen Pham began the workshop by defining executive orders and then discussed the increasing actions made toward the removal undocumented immigrants.
“Obama focused on immigrants with certain types of violent, criminal convictions,” Pham said. “What this enforcement, executive order [by President Donald Trump] says is ‘Everybody is now a priority,’ which makes nobody a priority, right? He has significantly expanded who will be a priority for enforcement.”
Director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic and law professor Fatma Marouf advised undocumented citizens to remain silent and seek legal counsel when dealing with police and Immigrant and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.
“If ICE comes to your home, and they want to come inside your home, ICE has to have two things: either your permission, which is how ICE gets into people’s homes most of the time — because people open the door and let them in…[or] with a warrant,” Marouf said. “Do not open your door. If you open the door, they can interpret that as consent to entry. You also have the right to remain silent.”
Throughout the workshop, presenters repeatedly suggested that members of affected groups exercise their right to remain silent. Additionally, workshop facilitators advised DACA and international students to temporarily avoid travel in response to Trump’s most recent travel ban.
Although Trump’s travel ban was struck down by a federal appeals court on Feb. 9, Trump is readying to submit a new one this week fitted to the ruling that ceased the ban, according to CNN.
First-year architecture graduate student Parisa Sadeghi said that she attended the workshop because she has concerns as an international Aggie.
“I thought my only problem was leaving the country, but what I got from the conference is that there’s a lot more,” Sadeghi said. “One thing [I learned] is that there are so many rights that I’m not aware of, but this workshop shed a light for me that there are some rules that I should follow, and I should find out about them.”
For further information regarding legal and civil rights, contact Texas A&M’s School of Law’s Clinical Program at 817-212-4123, or for a brief overview watch the recorded Know Your Rights Workshop on Aggie Agora’s YouTube channel.

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