The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii has issued a travel alert to Hawaii residents: Know your rights if you’re traveling to Texas.
The alert is in response to a new law that gives police officers there the green light to investigate a person’s immigration status during a routine traffic stop.
Mateo Caballero, legal director of ACLU of Hawaii, says your constitutional rights may be violated.
“Know that if you are being racially profiled, that is illegal,” Caballero said. “We issued the alert because we are very concerned about what could happen if you go to Texas. What could happen is based on how you look, and based on the language you are speaking, they could stop you and then detain you potentially for an extended period of time.”
Immigration attorney Clare Hanusz says people traveling to Texas should be prepared and carry their documents.
“U.S citizens and permanent residents should definitely carry their proof of status with them at all times,” she advised.
The ACLU of Hawaii says it doesn’t want to discourage people from traveling to Texas, but rather make sure they are aware of what’s going on.
While its travel advisory is in effect now, the actual law doesn’t go into effect until Sept. 1.
So what are your rights, and what happens if you get pulled over in Texas?
- Know that you have the right to remain silent. If you wish to remain silent, tell the officer.
- If you are not a U.S. citizen, show your immigration papers if you have them, and don’t lie about your citizenship.
- Stay calm. Don’t argue or resist.
- Ask if you are free to leave.
- You don’t have to consent to a search.