Safety, Scams and Your Rights

Safety in Chicago

As you would in any large city, stay alert to your surrounding, secure your personal belongings and use common sense as you move throughout the city.   For emergencies dial 9-1-1 (Police, Fire and Rescue) and for non-emergencies dial 3-1-1 (Police). 

To minimize risk only carry important documents such as your passport, I-94, social security card, Employment Authorization Document and I-20 when absolutely necessary.  Instead use your student ID or driver’s license as everyday forms of identification.  Be sure to keep copies of your important documents in a safe and easily accessible place in case you are the victim of a theft.

Safety and Security on Campus
Avoiding Scams

 There has been an increase in online immigration scams by individuals who claim to be law enforcement or from a government agency.  Scammers often use threatening or intimidating language to try to scare their victim into giving personal information or immediate payment over the phone. Listen to your instincts and don’t be afraid to say no!

No U.S. government or law enforcement official acting in a legitimate manner will use these tactics.  Immediate payment over the phone to resolve an issue is not how U.S. agencies operate.

Make it a habit to never give personal information such as date of birth, social security number, passport number or SEVIS number over the phone, by email or on social media.  Don’t post your address or phone number on social media.

For more information please visit USCIS Avoid Scams.

Knowing Your Rights

All people living in the U.S. have the following Constitutional rights:

  • Right to remain silent
  • Right to refuse a search of yourself, your car or your home
  • Right to a lawyer, if arrested
  • Right to calmly leave, if not under arrest

For more information and resources visit Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)  or National Immigrant Law Center (NILC).