Expert Speak – Know your Rights at the US Border

Karen Desoto - Legal Analyst

If you plan on entering the United States soon, regardless of your citizenship status, there are a few legal rights you need to know in the wake of the travel ban implemented by President Trump.

Here are a few legal insights by professor and legal analyst Karen DeSoto so you know about your rights at the border –

● Can I be Stopped or Searched at the Border?
Regardless of whether you are a green card holder, a visa holder or an American citizen, the Customs and Border Protection officers have the right to stop you and/or take you to a secondary inspection. This could be a random search, or because they have obtained more information about you or your immigration status.

● Can they take by Green Card Away?
No. CBP officers cannot make you sign any form that compels you to forego your permanent resident status. Unless you have committed a serious crime for which you are being deported, legal permanent residents have rights that allow them a hearing in front of an immigration judge. You will be permitted back into the country until the date of that hearing.

● Can They Search my Things?
Yes, every piece of luggage, item or belonging that enters the US is subject to search. You will be asked to declare items that you are bringing into the country. Items such as fruits that could carry diseases or pests will be destroyed or confiscated.

● Can I Carry My Laptop in my Carry On Bag?
No. Due to recent changes you can no longer carry a laptop in your carry on bag; it must be stowed with your luggage.

It is important that you stay informed on U.S. Customs and Immigration rules, as they are changing rapidly. Understand the rules in general, and the specific rules according to your status as a citizen, resident or visitor — to ensure that you adhere to federal laws and maintain your rights as an individual.

 

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How the Students at IDR Are Excelling With the Right Guidance

LawThe youth of any country are their future. And when the students are trained well, they are bound to excel – giving us a promising future ahead of us. This is something that the faculty at the Institute for Dispute Resolution understands quite well.

With the right guidance and coaching from law experts like Karen DeSoto, who is also the co-founder and co-director of the Institute, the students are accomplishing laurels one after the other. IDR keeps outshining others with the caliber, skills and training of its coaches.

Leman Kaifa, who was a part of the NJCU team that won “Most Effective Opening Address” honors at the Vienna competition (Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition) last year, is a political science major who also represented NJCU at this year’s 12th Annual International Commercial Mediation Competition in Paris, France — along with Justin Davis and Kaylee Saltos.

It is important to note that while hundreds of schools applied for participating in the 12th Annual International Commercial Mediation Competition, only sixty-six were chosen, and NJCU was the only business school chosen from the United States.

In the competition, the students participated in [a week-long] mock mediation sessions that provided them practical learning experience. They interacted with other students — as well as professionals — to gain a better understanding of international mediation practices.

The team was coached by Karen DeSoto and Christian Corrales. DeSoto, is also the founder of the Center of Legal Justice. She was the youngest lawyer (and first woman, and first Hispanic) to ever be appointed as Chief Counsel for the city of Jersey City, New Jersey. During her tenure as an attorney, she served as a public defender, a prosecutor, in private practice, and has since 2010 been an on-air legal analyst for many news shows, now under contract for NBC News.

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