Those at risk of ICE arrest and detention face an intentionally confusing and intimidating process. People arrested by ICE get very little information about what will happen to them, how long they might be detained, and what options they might have for release. Without adequate information about what can happen, people can unknowingly agree to be deported before they have a trial in immigration court.

CUP teamed up with the Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) and designer Melisa Tekin to create ¡El poder de prepararse! (The Power to Prepare!). This illustrated, Spanish-language booklet talks about what people can do to prepare for a potential arrest by ICE and what can happen during an arrest, in detention, and during their court trial. The booklet ends with an explanation of the different decisions the immigration court can make about a case. This booklet was created with input and feedback from people who have been arrested by ICE or identify as at-risk of arrest by ICE.

IDP plans to distribute the guide to immigrant communities throughout New York who are at high-risk of arrest and detention by ICE, and to legal services and advocacy organizations who work to protect and support New York’s immigrant community.

Resources & Links

The Immigrant Defense Project works to secure fairness and justice for immigrants in the United States by fighting to end unprecedented mass deportation via interconnected strategies that attack the criminal legal and immigration systems at multiple points.

Neighbors is a graphic design studio run by Melisa Tekin. Melisa believes that effective design is an important tool, and aims to bridge the divide between effective design and pressing issues in her community through her work. 

Public Access Design is a program of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). Public Access Design projects use design to make complex urban issues accessible to the New Yorkers most affected by them.

Funding Support

Support for this project was provided by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and Council Members Brad Lander and Antonio Reynoso.

Special Thanks

Christine Gaspar, Clair Beltran, Yasmin Safdie, Jade Jones, María Nóbrega, Victor Rodriguez, Edouard, Vivian, Catherine, Paola, Norma, Maria


  • CUP
  • Amanda Finuccio
  • Sucharitha Yelimeli
  • Immigrant Defense Project
  • Mizue Aizeki
  • Karelle Fonteneau
  • Brittany Castle

  • Neighbors
  • Designer
  • Melisa Tekin