Know Your Rights

Know Your Rights - ICE Raid Preparedness 

ICE Raid Preparedness 


●      United We Dream MigraWatch Hotline 1-844-363-1423

●      United We Dream Notifica App

Know Your Rights Resources:

●      Informed Immigrant: Know Your Rights

●      Immigrant Defense Project Know Your Rights Flyers in English or Spanish

●      United We Dream Know Your Power, Know Your Rights

●      American Immigration Lawyers Association Know Your Rights Handouts in English or Spanish

●      National Immigrant Justice Center Know Your Rights Graphics on preparing for ICE raids

●      CLINIC: Know Your Rights in Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Haitian Creole, Korean, and Vietnamese

●      American Federation of Teachers Know Your Rights for Families and Students

Rights During Raids:

●      Immigrant Legal Resource Center Red Cards

●      ACLU What to Do If Immigration Agents (ICE) Are at Your Door & Video in English and Spanish

●      ACLU What to Do When Interacting with ICE- Videos in 7 languages

●      American Federation of Teachers Do’s and Don’ts for students if ICE authorities come to their homes

●      National Immigration Law Center Rights at Home & Know Your Rights

●      SEIU Know Your Rights

Family Preparedness Plans:

●      Informed Immigrant Emergency Plan for Detained or Deported Family Members

●      SEIU Raids Response Checklist

●      CLINIC: Emergency Planning Guide

●      Michigan Immigrant Rights Center Preparing Your Family Guide in English and Spanish & Family Preparedness for Immigration Enforcement Video in English or in Spanish

Parental and Family Rights Toolkits:

●      Women’s Refugee Commission Parental Rights Toolkit for detained and deported immigrants

●      Freedom for Immigrants Information for Families of Detained Immigrants

General Guides:

●      Informed Immigrant Guide on how to prepare for an immigration raid

●      American Immigration Lawyers Association: Resources for Responding to Raids

●      Immigrant Legal Resource Center Compilation of Resources on Raids

●      National Immigration Law Center Toolkit for Organizations Responding to Mass Immigration Raids

Community Resources:

●      National Immigration Law Center How to Be Prepared for an Immigration Raid

●      Fair Immigration Reform Movement Community Raid Preparedness Checklist

●      National Immigrant Justice Center Community Resources

●      National Immigration Project Pre-Raid Community Safety Plan & Community Resources on Raids

●      CLINIC: Rapid Response Toolkit for Advocates and Communities

●      The Episcopal Church Resources for Communities During ICE Raids

●      LA RED: Deportation Defense Guide for the Faith Community

●      Rapid Response Toolkit for Faith Allies (shared by Church World Service)

Rights in Detention:

●      National Immigrant Justice Center Rights in Detention in English or Spanish

●      ICE Detainee Locator

Legal Providers:

●      Informed Immigrant Legal Service Locator

●      UnidosUS’s ImmLocal tool

Know the Law: Social Media Harassment

By Miko Zeldes-Roth and Albert Fox Cahn, Esq.

Online harassment is a serious concern for Muslim Americans, with social media threats on the rise. Regrettably, it can be difficult to prosecute such threats and harassment without raising significant First Amendment concerns. Currently, there are several New York State laws that can punish online harassment, but courts and lawmakers must continue to balance public safety against First Amendment free expressions rights.

 The First Amendment generally protects speech, including social media content and other novel forms of communication, but these protections are not without their limits.  Generally, online communication will only be illegal if a specific threat is made. These threats can be posted on a public Facebook post, in a private message, or using any other form of communication. To amount to a "true threat," the message must be so explicit that it can only be interpreted as a threat towards the recipient or their property.[1] If the statement is ambiguous, or if there is any other reasonable interpretation of the content, it will likely not be prosecutable as a “true threat.”[2]

“True threats” are one important exception to the First Amendment’s protection of speech, but it’s not the only one. Non-threatening online communication can be criminal if it alarms the recipient and has no legitimate purpose.[3] For instance, if you have been the target of repeated, unwanted, and disturbing messages (such as Facebook messages), then such activity may qualify as online harassment (even if there is no direct threat made against you).

These carve-outs may seem simple, but applying them is rarely straightforward. In recent years, we’ve seen courts repeatedly struggle to draw the line between legitimate speech and threats of violence, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Elonis v. United States. In Elonis, the Court found that social media content only constitutes a threat if it is actually intended to be threatening.[4]  The mere fact that the recipient of such communications found it to be threatening is not enough, since some recipients may be hypersensitive in how they interpret the statements that are directed at them. Prosecutors must not only prove that the recipient felt threatened, they must also prove the perpetrator intended the communication to have that impact.

 True threats and repeatedly harassment are generally a crime, but in certain cases such conduct is punished much more severely.  Online harassment premised on a target's protected characteristic (e.g. race, religion, national origin, etc.) may also face heightened punishment under New York State law as a hate crime.[5] These laws can provide additional protections to all minority groups, including Muslim Americans. Residents of New York City are also protected under the City's Human Rights Law. This law protects against identity-based discrimination and harassment.[6] Hate crime survivors can pursue and an administrative claim before the NYC Human Rights Commission or sue in New York State Supreme Court.[7]

Even as the definition of online harassment continues to develop, certain forms of malicious online activity remain clear-cut criminal offenses. If you or a loved one has been the recipient of intimidating or alarming messages that you view as threatening, you should contact 911 or reach out to CAIR-NY at 646-666-7599.


[1] People v. Orr, 2015 NY Slip Op 50568(U), 47 Misc. 3d 1213(A), 15 N.Y.S.3d 713 (Crim Ct.
Apr. 22, 2015); see also Virginia v. Black, 538 U.S. 343, 359 (2003).

[2] People v Grammatico, 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1, 2017 NY Slip Op 50000(U), 54 Misc. 3d 1203(A)
(N.Y. J. Ct. 2017).

[3] Harassment in the Second Degree (N.Y. Penal Law § 240.26)

[4] [1] Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Tech, "Elonis v. United States," Oyez, (accessed June 6, 2017).

[5] N.Y. Penal Law § 485.10

[6] “The Law.” New York City Commission on Human Rights, accessed June 12, 2017.

[7] “Enforcement.” New York City Commission on Human Rights, accessed June 12, 2017.

Disclaimer:  The foregoing is provided solely for educational purposes; it is not intended to provide legal advice.  If you have any questions about social media harassments or any other legal matter, please contact a licensed attorney.

Travel Advice: Knowing your rights before travelling or if detained abroad

A businessman returning from Hajj, and a prolonged vacation in 2010, had his laptop and cellphone temporarily confiscated by Customs agents at a US airport; since then, he has been routinely stopped for hours every time he attempts to travel overseas.

A student was detained for six hours and placed in handcuffs after officials mistook the student's identity for someone on a watch list. The student had a common Muslim name.

While traveling to a Muslim country, an American man’s name was placed on a “No-Fly List.” He was offered no recourse, or details for removing his name and was held indefinitely in the foreign country.

Given the increase in the number of complaints to CAIR alleging airport profiling of American Muslims, it is important that all those who travel to be aware of their legal rights and responsibilities. To help you better understand those rights, CAIR-NY is providing two new resources on our website for community members.

- "Know your rights when travelling"

This single-page guide informs you of the rights you have at the borders and what you can do if you are subject to inappropriate questioning by the CBP or TSA.

- "Know your rights if detained abroad"

After a number of complains received by CAIR from Muslims who were denied the right to come back home, CAIR has designed a travel advisory for American Muslim travelers facing "forced exile" or the denial of due process rights. 


Informant: NYPD paid me to 'bait' Muslims

By ADAM GOLDMAN and MATT APUZZO | Associated Press – Tue, Oct 23, 2012Original article found at Yahoo News:

NEW YORK (AP) — A paid informant for the New York Police Department's intelligence unit was under orders to "bait" Muslims into saying inflammatory things as he lived a double life, snapping pictures inside mosques and collecting the names of innocent people attending study groups on Islam, he told The Associated Press.

Shamiur Rahman, a 19-year-old American of Bangladeshi descent who has now denounced his work as an informant, said police told him to embrace a strategy called "create and capture." He said it involved creating a conversation about jihad or terrorism, then capturing the response to send to the NYPD. For his work, he earned as much as $1,000 a month and goodwill from the police after a string of minor marijuana arrests.

"We need you to pretend to be one of them," Rahman recalled the police telling him. "It's street theater."

Rahman said he now believes his work as an informant against Muslims in New York was "detrimental to the Constitution." After he disclosed to friends details about his work for the police — and after he told the police that he had been contacted by the AP — he stopped receiving text messages from his NYPD handler, "Steve," and his handler's NYPD phone number was disconnected.

Rahman's account shows how the NYPD unleashed informants on Muslim neighborhoods, often without specific targets or criminal leads. Much of what Rahman said represents a tactic the NYPD has denied using.

The AP corroborated Rahman's account through arrest records and weeks of text messages between Rahman and his police

handler. The AP also reviewed the photos Rahman sent to police. Friends confirmed Rahman was at certain events when he said he was there, and former NYPD officials, while not personally familiar with Rahman, said the tactics he described were used by informants.

Informants like Rahman are a central component of the NYPD's wide-ranging programs to monitor life in Muslim

neighborhoods since the 2001 terrorist attacks. Police officers have eavesdropped inside Muslim businesses, trained video cameras on mosques and collected license plates of worshippers. Informants who trawl the mosques — known informally as "mosque crawlers" — tell police what the imam says at sermons and provide police lists of attendees, even when there's no evidence they committed a crime.

The programs were built with unprecedented help from the CIA.

Police recruited Rahman in late January, after his third arrest on misdemeanor drug charges, which Rahman believed would

lead to serious legal consequences. An NYPD plainclothes officer approached him in a Queens jail and asked whether he wanted to turn his life around.

The next month, Rahman said, he was on the NYPD's payroll.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne did not immediately return a message seeking comment on Tuesday. He has denied widespread NYPD spying, saying police only follow leads.

In an Oct. 15 interview with the AP, however, Rahman said he received little training and spied on "everything and anyone." He took pictures inside the many mosques he visited and eavesdropped on imams. By his own measure, he said he was very good at his job and his handler never once told him he was collecting too much, no matter whom he was spying on.

Rahman said he thought he was doing important work protecting New York City and considered himself a hero.

One of his earliest assignments was to spy on a lecture at the Muslim Student Association at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. The speaker was Ali Abdul Karim, the head of security at the Masjid At-Taqwa mosque in Brooklyn. The NYPD had been concerned about Karim for years and already had infiltrated the mosque, according to NYPD documents obtained by the AP.

Rahman also was instructed to monitor the student group itself, though he wasn't told to target anyone specifically. His NYPD handler, Steve, told him to take pictures of people at the events, determine who belonged to the student association and identify its leadership.

On Feb. 23, Rahman attended the event with Karim and listened, ready to catch what he called a "speaker's gaffe." The NYPD was interested in buzz words such as "jihad" and "revolution," he said. Any radical rhetoric, the NYPD told him, needed to be reported.

John Jay president Jeremy Travis said Tuesday that police had not told the school about the surveillance. He did not say whether he believed the tactic was appropriate.

"As an academic institution, we are committed to the free expression of ideas and to creating a safe learning environment for all of our students," he said in a written statement. "We are working closely with our Muslim students to affirm their rights and to reassure them that we support their organization and freedom to assemble."

Talha Shahbaz, then the vice president of the student group, met Rahman at the event. As Karim was finishing his talk on Malcolm X's legacy, Rahman told Shahbaz that he wanted to know more about the student group. They had briefly attended the same high school in Queens.

Rahman said he wanted to turn his life around and stop using drugs, and said he believed Islam could provide a purpose in life. In the following days, Rahman friended him on Facebook and the two exchanged phone numbers. Shahbaz, a Pakistani who came to the U.S. more three years ago, introduced Rahman to other Muslims.

"He was telling us how he loved Islam and it's changing him," said Asad Dandia, who also became friends with Rahman.

Secretly, Rahman was mining his new friends for details about their lives, taking pictures of them when they ate at restaurants and writing down license plates on the orders of the NYPD.

On the NYPD's instructions, he went to more events at John Jay, including when Siraj Wahhaj spoke in May. Wahhaj, 62, is a prominent but controversial New York imam who has attracted the attention of authorities for years. Prosecutors included his name on a 3 ½-page list of people they said "may be alleged as co-conspirators" in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, though he was never charged. In 2004, the NYPD placed Wahhaj on an internal terrorism watch list and noted: "Political ideology moderately radical and anti-American."

That evening at John Jay, a friend took a photograph of Wahhaj with a grinning Rahman.

Rahman said he kept an eye on the MSA and used Shahbaz and his friends to facilitate traveling to events organized by the Islamic Circle of North America and Muslim American Society. The society's annual convention in Hartford, Conn, draws a large number of Muslims and plenty of attention from the NYPD. According to NYPD documents obtained by the AP, the NYPD sent three informants there in 2008 and was keeping tabs on the group's former president.

Rahman was told to spy on the speakers and collect information. The conference was dubbed "Defending Religious Freedom." Shahbaz paid Rahman's travel expenses.

Rahman, who was born in Queens, said he never witnessed any criminal activity or saw anybody do anything wrong.

He said he sometimes intentionally misinterpreted what people had said. For example, Rahman said he would ask people what they thought about the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya, knowing the subject was inflammatory. It was easy to take statements out of context, he said. Rahman said he wanted to please his NYPD handler, whom he trusted and liked.

"I was trying to get money," Rahman said. "I was playing the game."

Rahman said police never discussed the activities of the people he was assigned to target for spying. He said police told him once, "We don't think they're doing anything wrong. We just need to be sure."

On some days, Rahman's spent hours and covered miles in his undercover role. On Sept. 16, for example, he made his way in the morning to the Al Farooq Mosque in Brooklyn, snapping photographs of an imam and the sign-up sheet for those attending a regular class on Islamic instruction. He also provided their cell phone numbers to the NYPD. That evening he spied on people at Masjid Al-Ansar, also in Brooklyn.

Text messages on his phone showed that Rahman also took pictures last month of people attending the 27th annual Muslim Day Parade in Manhattan. The parade's grand marshal was New York City Councilman Robert Jackson.

Rahman said he eventually tired of spying on his friends, noting that at times they delivered food to needy Muslim families. He said he once identified another NYPD informant spying on him. He took $200 more from the NYPD and told them he was done as an informant. He said the NYPD offered him more money, which he declined. He told friends on Facebook in early October that he had been a police spy but had quit. He also traded Facebook messages with Shahbaz, admitting he had spied on students at John Jay.

"I was an informant for the NYPD, for a little while, to investigate terrorism," he wrote on Oct. 2. He said he no longer thought it was right. Perhaps he had been hunting terrorists, he said, "but I doubt it."

Shahbaz said he forgave Rahman.

"I hated that I was using people to make money," Rahman said. "I made a mistake."


Staff writer David Caruso in New York contributed to this story.

See original article at Yahoo News:

ACTION ALERT: Bring Samir Home to New York

ACTION ALERT: Tell Your Representatives to Take Samir Off DHS 'No-Fly List'

How are you spending your Eid holiday? With family and friends? Comfortable at home, we hope. Everyone should have the right to spend this blessed time of year at home with family; unless your name is Samir, you are Muslim, and you flew overseas for a vacation.

Samir, a 26 year-old Queens native and US Citizen, has been stranded in Europe for 20 days and counting by the Department of Homeland Security without any explanation. As an American citizen, this is a grave violation of his civil rights, and a flagrant disregard for the US Constitution by our federal agencies. What Samir thought would be a pleasant vacation to Montenegro to visit family, turned out to be a nightmare for him and his mother who is waiting for his return in New York. 

CAIR-NY has demanded the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Customs and Border Proetection (CBP) address this injustice urgently, but Samir's elected officials have remained silent. 



  1. U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman - District Office: (718) 423-2154 -
  2. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer – 202-224-6542 -
  3. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand – 202-224-4451 -
  4. State Senator Tony Avella - 718-357-3094 - 518-455-2210 - -
  5. State Assemblyman Edward Braunstein - 718-357-3588 - 518-455-5425 - -
  6. City Councilmember Daniel Halloran - 718-631-6703 - 212-788-7250 -


Then, share this with your networks and make sure that 5 friends do the same! Help us protect Americans from oppressive policies, and bring Samir home to his family.

Earlier this year, CAIR called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate acts of "coercion and intimidation" allegedly used by the FBI to pressure Muslim citizens into giving up their constitutional rights if they wished to return to the United States from overseas.

CAIR Seeks Probe of Whether FBI Sought Torture of U.S. Muslim

CAIR Asks DOJ to Probe Oregon FBI's 'Coercion' of Muslim Citizens

Last year, CAIR filed a lawsuit against the DOJ and the FBI seeking a court order to allow a Virginia Muslim teenager who had been detained in Kuwait and placed on a U.S. government no-fly list to return to the United States.

CAIR: Va. Muslim on No-Fly List Returning to U.S.

Queens Muslim Stranded in Germany by DHS, CAIR-NY Demands Removal From No-Fly List

The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ New York Chapter has sent a strongly worded letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection asking that New Yorker Samir Suljovic be allowed to fly home to Queens, N.Y., from Germany.

By Michael Walsh / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 5:20 PMA Queens man has been trapped in Europe for the last 17 days, says a civil rights group, because his name is allegedly on the no-fly list.

Samir Suljovic, 26, first tried to fly back home to New York from Vienna, Austria, on October 1. Airline agents told the New Yorker that he could not board a return flight at the request of his own government.

On Wednesday, the New York Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) issued a statement that demands that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) allow Suljovic to return home from his current location, Germany.

Muneer Awad, executive director of CAIR-NY, said he has no way to know whether this is a case of mistaken identity because he claims authorities have been unresponsive.

“This is not a unique case for American Muslims who have been traveling abroad,” Awad told the Daily News. “He has no criminal record, he has never been charged with anything criminal. A Muslim happened to be traveling abroad and it raised a red flag for no other reason than that he is Muslim.”

Suljovic tried to contact the DHS and CBP liaison at JFK International Airport but has not received a response, says the rights group. He was advised to ask for help from the Germany's U.S. embassy. But instead of support he was allegedly interrogated and his cell phone was searched without his consent.

"I cannot sleep, eat, and sometimes I feel like I can't breath [sic], knowing my son is homeless in a strange land and our government has done nothing to help us," Suljovic's mother was quoted by CAIR-NY as saying.

"This is an abuse of power by our federal agencies," said Awad. "Our government cannot ban American citizens from returning home without due process of law."

CAIR-NY sent a letter with its demands to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, New York members of the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Embassy in Munich, Germany.

"The denial of Mr. Suljovic's right to return home without due process of law constitutes a grave violation of his civil rights and liberties," the letter reads. "Instead of protecting this young U.S. citizen while he traveled abroad, the government has effectively stranded him in an unfamiliar country without shelter or protection."

Suljovic, born and raised in Oakland Gardens, Queens, was attending Queensboro Community College, according to CAIR-NY’s statement. He initially traveled to Europe to visit family and friends in Montenegro.

"He has never done anything wrong," his mother said. "He choses [sic] to be a good Muslim. That's not a crime in America."

Read the original article here:

FBI Calls NYPD Activities "Felonious"

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) really has gone rogue; at least that's what a high-level FBI official believes. 

Among the 5 million emails the group Anonymous hacked from the servers of private intelligence firm Stratfor in February, one seems to not only confirm the controversial NYPD surveillance activities uncovered by the Associated Pressbut hints at even worse civil liberties violations not yet disclosed. Anonymous later turned the emails over to WikiLeaks, with which Truthout has entered into an investigative partnership.

I keep telling you, you and I are going to laugh and raise a beer one day, when everything Intel (NYPD's Intelligence Division) has been involved in during the last 10 years comes out - it always eventually comes out. They are going to make [former FBI Director J. Edgar] Hoover, COINTEL, Red Squads, etc look like rank amatures [sic] compared to some of the damn right felonious activity, and violations of US citizen's rights they have been engaged in.

The description of alleged NYPD excesses was leveled by an unnamed FBI "senior official" in late November 2011, in an email sent to Fred Burton, vice president for intelligence at the Austin, Texas-based Stratfor and former deputy chief of the counterterrorism division at the State Department. Burton  then sent the official's email to what appears to be a listserv known as the "Alpha List."

Read the rest of this story by clicking here.