There are many states that have made "safe zones" for illegal immigrants in the U.S.. There are also many churches that provide sanctuary, as defined by old church law, for the protection of those who request it. Yet, these same cities, states, and churches fear that they may not be safe enough. When you are consulting with an immigration law firm, you can ask them about safe houses, places where you can go where you will not be arrested, rounded up, and/or deported. Here is what the lawyer might have to say about such safe houses:
They Might Provide Less Protection Than a Church
The argument about private homes acting as safe houses is that they would be protected by the Fourth Amendment. (For those who need a brush-up on that Amendment, it is the one that provides protection against illegal search and seizure without a warrant.) The problem is, that only works if the person who owns the house actually resides in it most of the time.
Immigrants who are hiding inside the house do not own the house, and therefore are not as fully protected by these laws. Additionally, as illegal immigrants, you cannot own property here, and any violations of these laws prevents them from ever becoming U.S. citizens. At any time, and for any valid reason approved of by a court judge or by government organizations like Homeland Security, the home could be entered, and you would not be safe. You are safer in a church because of the separation of church and state.
Even Designated "Safe Zones" Are Safer Than Safe Houses
You can walk around outside in a city that has declared itself "safe" for illegal immigrants. If you choose to stay in a safe house, you are practically advertising the fact that you are an illegal immigrant, and the immigration officers should come get you. At least, out in the open, in a "safe zone," you look like you belong here. As long as you do not commit a crime, you can remain in a safe city and out in the open until your citizenship papers, visa, or green card are approved. Your lawyer will let you know when these documents are ready.
Ask Your Lawyer Where You Can Stay
To be sure, it is difficult to find a place you can stay and be safe. If you stay with several other immigrants in the same hotel room or abandoned building, you have a higher risk of being caught if and when someone in the group does something he/she should not have done. Your lawyer can suggest some safer places to stay where you will be warm, dry, and can go out to get regular meals.
For more information, contact your local immigration law firm today.