Immigrants Beware! explores the immigration consequences of criminal convictions for non-citizens. Did you know even minor offenses can lead to detention and deportation?

Until 1996, every immigrant facing detention and deportation had the basic right to be heard in court. Immigration judges could base decisions on factors like length of residence, family and community ties, and work history.

In 1996, the rules changed to limit judges’ discretion in deciding outcomes of deportation cases. Today, many immigrants face mandatory detention and deportation.

This publication breaks down the immigration system and gives non-citizens knowledge and resources to fight the deportation process. Immigrants Beware! was produced in partnership with Families for Freedom and designers Lana Cavar and Tamara Maletic. It’s being used to help families and individuals understand their way through the system.

Families for Freedom is distributing the MPP to individuals in their “know your rights” trainings, as well as churches, other immigrants’ rights advocacy groups, and community organizations throughout New York City and beyond. According to fromer Families for Freedom staff member Ravi Ragbir, “I just gave our Making Policy Public to State Senator Rivera, I told him ‘This is the quickest and easiest way for you to understand the system.’”

Get your own copy here.

Resources & Links

Families for Freedom is a New York based multi-ethnic defense network by and for immigrants facing deportation. It is a source of education and action for directly affected families, and an organizing support center for directly affected communities.

Lana Cavar is a freelance graphic designer and art director based in New York City and Zagreb, Croatia.

Tamara Maletic is a graphic designer based in New York City and is cofounder, with Dan Michaelson, of the design studio, Linked by Air.

Making Policy Public is a program of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). CUP partners with policy advocates and graphic designers to produce foldout posters that explain complicated policy issues, like this one.

Funding Support

This project was made possible by the Nathan Cummings Foundation; public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council for the Arts, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the North Star Fund; and the Union Square Awards, a project of the Tides Center.

Special Thanks

Michelle Fei, Benita Jain, Valeria Mogilevich, Kate Rubin, Sukjong Hong, Krista Jenkins, Lise Brenner, Elizabeth Hopkins, Paula Winograd, Mimi Zeiger, Jessica McHugh, Mirabai Knight, Gwenaelle Guengant, Adolfo Mogilevich, Fan Kong, Jessie Li, Joseph Rome, Reihan Salam, Sarwar Salam, Nazrul Kabir, Rose Dakin, Wafadar Husain, Bidasha Banerjee, and Familes for Freedom members


  • CUP
  • John Mangin
  • Christine Gaspar
  • Rosten Woo
  • Families for Freedom
  • Advocacy Partner
  • Maria Muentes
  • Janis Rosheuvel
  • Manisha Vaze
  • Designers
  • Lana Cavar
  • Tamara Maletić
  • Photographer
  • Corine Vermeulen