Local immigration lawyers and activists are bracing for possible raids across the city after President Trump signed executive order aiming to block federal funding to sanctuary cities.
Sanctuary city is a term used for cities that do not permit police or municipal employees to inquire about one’s immigration status, follow certain procedures that shelter undocumented immigrants and don’t allow municipal resources to further enforcement of federal immigration laws.
As fears loom over possible US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids the city is gearing up by training its residents on how to respond during an ICE raid: “We saw that people power works, we saw what happened at San Francisco airport. So what we need to think about is how do we build a public campaign around deportation?,” said Lorena Melgarejo of the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco. Melgarejo was addressing around a hundred people who had gathered for a rapid response network training at St.Agnes Church.
Melgarejo emphasised the importance of having a network of supporters: “When ,your mother is about to be deported you are in shock, you need someone who can sit down with you and work on a strategy. May be not everyone can be a first responder, but everyone can provide company and help. Think of practical things like cooking meals, help the family get legal representation and so on,” she said. …
‘What to do during an ICE raid?’
Attorneys Luis Angel Reyes Savalza and Nilou Khonsari of Pangea Legal Services conducted a legal training to help people understand their legal rights as observers.
“For far too long ICE has become accustomed to picking up people at 5 or 6 in the morning. For far too long they’ve become accustomed to ripping families apart from their own homes without a warrant, taking them to courts and have them deported. For far too long it has all happened in the dark,” Savalza said. …