Term Definition 
Administrative Warrant A document signed by an ICE agent, stating that a person is being designated for possible arrest and possible deportation proceedings. An administrative warrant is not signed by a judge.
Advocate A person who works in a role (paid or volunteer) to help support people or a cause.
Ambassador A a high ranking diplomat from the government of a nation who goes to live in a foreign country as an official representative of their country.
Arrest The act of taking someone into custody, limiting their freedom.
Asylum Protection from another country, person, or group, given to someone who has fled from their homelands to another country looking for safety (often fleeing from political targeting, oppression, war, genocide, or religious persecution).
Attorney/Lawyer A person who is of a profession that represents individuals in legal matters. In the US, being a lawyer requires going to an accredited 3 year law school after a 4-year university and passing a test (called the Bar Exam) specific to the state one is working in.
Charges A formal court or police claim that someone has committed an act against the law. During this time, the perpetrator is considered innocent unless and until a court convicts.
Citizen A recognized member of a state or country, regardless of origin or country of birth, enjoying the same rights and subject to the same obligations as any other citizen determined by the constitution and laws of country of citizenship. Citizens, the same as legally recognized permanent residents, can stay in country of citizenship or residence without restrictions for terms or length of stay. In some countries, citizens enjoy political rights (such as voting) and services (health benefits and social services) that are otherwise unavailable to non-citizens.
Civil Immigration Warrant Any document that is not approved or ordered by a judge requesting an individual’s arrest or detention for a civil immigration enforcement purpose.
Civil Rights Rights ensuring dignity, fair treatment, access, and equity in society.
Civil Rights Unit An office in a governmental agency that is dedicated to helping members of protected classes assert and protect their civil rights.
Consulate A government office in another country where administrative services are performed to help citizens from their host countries with immigration related matters, including passport renewal or replacement, visa updates, and other immigration processes.
Convicted When a person pleads guilty (admits responsibility) for a crime, or when a judge or jury finds beyond a reasonable doubt that a person has broken the the law and committed a crime.
Conviction A decision made by judge or jury that the person who was charged formally with a crime has indeed committed acts that violate the criminal law, or a decision made by a person charged with a crime to admit or plead guilty to criminal conduct.
Country of Birth The country where an individual is born.
Court Order A direction issued by a court or judge telling a person to do or not to do something.
Crimes Acts that violate criminal laws.
Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude A wide range list of crimes involving acts that are considered unjust or immoral against another individual.
Criminal history A person’s background reflecting arrests or convictions showing a person has engaged in criminal behavior.
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Allows certain undocumented children under the age of sixteen who arrived in the United States to apply for deferred deportation for 2 years. Qualified applicants can also apply for a renewal at the end of their 2 years.
Defense Protection for an individual or organizations against criminal charges or civil actions brought by another individual or entity.
Deferred Putting something off, delaying to another time.
Deportation Removing a person from one country to another country against their wishes.
Detain Holding a person in jail, in a place where movement is restricted.
DHS Department of Homeland Security or Department of Human Services.
Displaced persons A group of people who have had to transition from place of residence. Internally displaced persons remain within country of residence whereas externally displaced individuals leave their country of residence. Displacement is often caused due to or out of fear from war, persecution, natural disasters, hardships or conditions that make staying in place of residence untenable.
DOJ Abbreviation for Department of Justice; sometimes used for Oregon Department of Justice (state government), and sometimes used for the United States Department of Justice (federal government)
Embassy Official residence of an ambassador who represents another country
Ethnicity A category that designates or self-describes a group of people as belonging to a common cultural origin. Ethnic groups are not homogenous and may still hold a great degree of linguistic, religious or other types of cultural diversity.
Federal Immigration Authorities A term used to describe the many federal agencies that perform immigration enforcement.
Federal Jurisdiction The geographic or legal area of authority, such as matters related to violations of constitutional, federal and certain types of criminal laws.
Felony A crime, or violation of the law, punishable by more than 1 year in prison.
Gender Identity An individual’s gender-related identity, appearance, expression or behavior, regardless of whether the identity, appearance, expression or behavior differs from that associated with the gender assigned to the individual at birth.
Hearing An event where legal decisions are made in court.
Hold When a person is unable to post bail or otherwise be released from custody/jail due to another entity (jail or immigration enforcers) claiming a legal reason to keep the individual in custody.
Human Rights A set of rights that belong equally to all human beings regardless of any social, legal, biological, racial, or national origin classification. Those rights are codified in international agreements and declarations under the United Nations systems.
ICE Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Immigrant A person who comes to live permanently in another country.
Immigration Court The court that specifically decides immigration related issues.
In Custody Detained, in jail, or in prison where one’s movement is restricted and one’s freedom is removed.
Incarcerated When a person is held in jail or prison without freedom to leave.
Informed Consent A review of options with a person to be sure they are making a decision with knowledge and understanding about the possible outcomes or consequences.
Interrogation An official type of interview usually performed by a police officer to question an individual about a matter.
Investigation A formal process where law enforcement or government agencies look in search of facts.
Investigator A person whose job is to gather and examine the facts of a situation.
Jail A place where a person is held while they await criminal prosecution and before they are convicted of a crime where they are not free to leave; or, a place where a person is held once they have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime where they will stay and are not free to leave for less than 1 year.
Judge/Magistrate A public official elected or appointed to decide cases in court.
Judicial Relating to a judge.
Judicial System Also known as the judiciary, the courts in a country that make legal decisions and interpret and apply the law.
Judicial Warrant An official court document signed by a judge, usually with the designation of a specific court, telling the police to do something, including search an area or make an arrest.
Juvenile Someone who is under 18 years of age.
Law Enforcement Police officers, sheriff deputies, and state troopers whose job it is to uphold criminal laws.
Lawful Following the rules in what is allowed by the law.
Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Also known as “green card” holders, LPRs are non-citizens who are lawfully authorized to live permanently within the United States.
Laws A system of written rules that a society or government creates to maintain or create order (example – It is against the law to assault/punch another person).
Memorandum A document used in professional settings to communicate messages between parties.
Migrant A person who moves from place to place in search of better living conditions, employment opportunities, or more viable economic circumstances.
Misdemeanor A crime or violation of the law, punishable by less than 1 year in jail.
Mixed-Status Family A household that has at least one parent who is a non-citizen and one or more children who are citizens.
Motion A formal request to the courts to make a legal decision on a case.
Nationality Identification of a person or group by belonging to one’s country.
Naturalized Citizen An individual who goes through a legal process to obtain citizenship in the country they now live in.
Non-Citizen Often referred to as undocumented person, a person who does not have citizenship status in a country.
Origin Country of birth or cultural heritage/lineage.
Parole/Probation/Post Prison Supervision aka Supervision After a person is convicted of a crime, the government authority that ensures the person abides by certain rules to promote rehabilitation and community safety.
Permanent Resident Non-Citizen (aka Green Card) An individual who is a non-citizen, but is an officially recognized resident who has obtained legal permits to reside and work in the US.
Petition A formal written request to the court.
Policy A set of ideas or procedures that are outlined and expected to be followed by a particular entity.
Prison A place where a person is held once they have been convicted of a felony crime where they will stay and are not free to leave for more than 1 year.
Proceedings A series of actions or events in one setting, often referred to in a court environment.
Prosecutor/District Attorney/DA A lawyer/attorney who represents the state or the government who has the authority to file charges against the defendant accused of committing a crime.
Protected Class A group of people that share common identity, who are legally protected from being discriminated based on their identity (example- national origin, disability).
Public Body A local county, city, or state government office, like the Department of Motor Vehicles, or the Multnomah County Health Department.
Public Defender A lawyer/attorney who helps defend people who cannot afford a lawyer in criminal cases.
Public Safety The safety of a community or an area.  Also used to describe the many different agencies in the law enforcement system that have a role in helping protect communities, public spaces, and enforce laws.
Race A social category that designates or self-ascribes a group of people based on shared lineage, physical attributes, and/or social qualities regarded as distinct.
Raids An operation that is sudden and without notice to invade a place with the purpose of arresting individuals who are non-citizens.
Refugee A person who is forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
Removal The removal of an individual, usually a non citizen.
Resettlement The relocation of refugees to another country and allowing them to reside permanently.
Resources Materials, sources, or supplies provided to an individual or organization to assist their needs.
Sanctuary Laws Laws in a city or state that protect immigrant individuals by promising not to enforce federal immigration orders and thereby providing them them a place to live and work safely.
Social Media Publicly accessible websites or apps operated by for-profit private businesses and corporations available over the internet which allow people to create and share content (examples- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, What’s App, etc.).
Social Network The group of people, also known as friends, who a person is connected to on a particular social media website or app, who can see the content created or shared by the person.
State Laws Laws specific to a state.
Statute A written law passed by government (legislature).
Subpoena An order requiring a person to attend court.
Temporary Protected Status An official status that allows for a specific time period where individuals can live and work in the US. This only applies to those who have had to leave their home countries due to war or natural disasters and currently living in the US.
Treaty An agreement between countries.
US Citizen An individual who was born in the United States, born to a parent who is a US Citizen, or gains citizenship to the US by other legal methods such as naturalization.
USCIS United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Violation When policies or laws are broken or disobeyed.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Under this act, a person may petition for lawful permanent resident status if they are the victim of domestic violence committed by a US citizen spouse, former spouse, parent, son or daughter, or by a lawful permanent resident spouse, former spouse, parent.
Visas An official document given by the government of a country to give an individual permission to remain in a country or travel to another country.
Warrant(s) A document issued by a judge or government official authorizing the police or some other body to make an arrest, search premises, or carry out some other action relating to the administration of justice. It is important to know the difference between civil immigration warrants, administrative warrants, and judicial warrants.