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Undocumented: Legal Resources

This guide provides recommended resources for research and services related to undocumented students.

FREE Legal Advice for SBCC Students!

We are pleased to offer access to an attorney for FREE legal education and advice to SBCC's currently enrolled students. The attorney is located on the main campus in the Office of Student Life (CC-217) on Fridays from 1:00pm - 4:00pm by appointment, and drop-ins are seen if time permits.

Students can call (805) 730-4062 or email collinsa@sbcc.edu, to schedule an appointment.

*Please note that if you are an online student seeking legal assistance, your first appointment must be an on campus meeting with the legal advisor. The attorney can speak with students about criminal matters, landlord/tenant/roommate disputes, consumer issues, family law, traffic tickets, personal injury, credit/debt problems, small claims, and other areas of law. The service is not available for students experiencing an issue with another student, or with the college. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.

The Student Legal Center is provided by the Office of Student Life and your Associated Student Government.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): Know Your Rights

Click on the image to visit the website. This flier is available in 14 languages.

Know your rights: Stopped by the police, immigration agents, or the FBI. If you’re stopped by the police: You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to remain silent, tell the officer. (Some states may require you to identify yourself to the police if you’re suspected of a crime); Stay calm. Don’t run. Don’t argue, resist, or obstruct the police. Keep your hands where police can see them; Ask if you’re free to leave. If yes, calmly and silently walk away; You do not have to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings. If you’re stopped in your car: Stop the car in a safe place as quickly as possible. Turn off the car, turn on the internal light, open the window partway, and place your hands on the wheel; Upon request, show police your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance; If an officer or immigration agent asks to search your car, you can refuse. But if police believe your car contains evidence of a crime, they can search it without your consent; Both drivers and passengers have the right to remain silent. If you’re a passenger, you can ask if you’re free to leave. If yes, silently leave. If you’re asked about your immigration status: You have the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer questions about where you were born, whether you’re a U.S. citizen, or how you entered the country. (separate rules apply at international borders and airports, and for individuals on certain nonimmigrant visas, including tourists and business travelers); If you’re not a U.S. citizen and have a valid immigration papers, you should show them if an immigration agent requests it; Do not lie about your citizenship status or provide fake documents. If the police or immigration agents come to your home: You don’t have to let them in unless they have a warrant signed by a judge; Ask them to show you the warrant. Officers can only search the areas and for the items listed on the warrant. An arrest warrant allows the police to enter the home of the person listed on the warrant if they believe the person is inside. A warrant of removal/deportation (ICE warrant) does not allow officers to enter the home without consent; Even if officers have a warrant, you may remain silent. If you choose to speak, step outside and close the door. If you’re arrested by police: Do not resist; Say you wish to remain silent and ask for a lawyer. If you can’t afford a lawyer, the government must provide one; Don’t say anything, sign anything, or make any decisions without a lawyer; You have the right to make a local phone call. The police cannot listen if you call a lawyer; Don’t discuss you immigration status with anyone but your lawyer; An immigration officer may visit you in jail. Do not answer questions or sign anything before talking to a lawyer; Read all papers fully. If you don’t understand or cannot read the papers, say you need an interpreter. If you’re taken into immigration (or ICE) custody: You have the right to a lawyer, but the government will not provide one. If you don’t have a lawyer, ask for a list of free or low-cost legal services; You have the right to contact your consulate or have an officer inform the consulate of your arrest; Tell the immigration officer you wish to remain silent. Do not discuss your immigration status with anyone but your lawyer; Do not sign anything, such as a voluntary departure or stipulated removal, without talking to a lawyer. If you sign, you may be giving up your opportunity to try to stay in the U.S.;Know your immigration number (“A” number) and give it to your family. It will help them locate you. If you feel your rights have been violated: Write down everything you remember, including officer’s badge and patrol car numbers, which agency the officers were from, and any other details. Get contact information for witnesses. If you’re injured, seek medical attention immediately and take photographs of your injuries; File a written complaint with the agency’s internal affairs division or civilian complaint board. In most cases, you can file a complaint anonymously if you wish. This information is not intended as legal advice. Some state laws may vary. Separate rules apply at checkpoints and when entering the U.S. (including at airports). Updated Dec. 2016. For more information, call your local ACLU www.ACLU.org/affiliates.

Local Legal Resources

  • Santa Barbara County Immigrant Legal Defense Center
  • Website has a translate option.
    The only organization in Santa Barbara County that provides free legal services to adults and children in detention centers and removal proceedings, and community education to help immigrants understand their basic civil rights.

    Call 805-886-9136 or visit 601 E. Montecito Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93103.

  • Immigrant Hope of Santa Barbara
  • Website has a translate option.
    Offers low-cost legal advice & services regarding the U.S. immigration processes.

    Call 805-963-0166 or visit 935 San Andres Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

  • Importa
  • Non-profit provider of immigration legal services.

    Call 805-604-5060 or visit 129 East Carrillo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

  • Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County
  • Provides free legal services to low-income people and senior citizens.

    Call 805-963-6754 or visit 301 E. Canon Perdido Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

  • Santa Barbara Teen Legal Clinic
  • Provides services to teens and youth.

    Call 805-962-3344 or visit 215 De La Vina Street, Suite I, Santa Barbara, CA 93191.

  • CAUSE (Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy)
  • Local legal resources for immigration, workers rights, and renters rights.

    Call 805-850-3028 or visit 126 E. Haley St. #A17 Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

General Legal Resources