Protecting Immigrants in Our Community
Submitted by Julie Litwin, Kehilla Immigration Committee
Whether we are immigrants ourselves or are concerned about the safety of immigrants in our community, it is important for all of us to know the rights of immigrants and to know what to do if we witness activity by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
The Trump administration has broadened the policies that prioritize who to target for deportation so that many more people are now included. New immigration officers are being hired, and new detention facilities are being built. An upsurge in raids, detentions and deportations in the Bay Area is likely.
A new partnership called Alameda County Immigration Legal and Education Partnership (ACILEP), funded by the City of Oakland, County of Alameda and the SF Foundation, has recently formed to respond to the threat to immigrants in our county. ACILEP will, among other things, provide weekly know-your-rights workshops throughout the county, a hotline, and rapid response training. Both Oakland Community Organizations (OCO) and Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, two organizations that Kehilla works with closely, are part of ACILEP.
Keep and share these 24-hour hotlines for witnesses of ICE activity and for individuals who have been detained in need of emergency legal assistance.
Alameda County: 510-241-4011
San Francisco: 415-200-1548
To Learn More:
It is highly recommended to attend a know-your-rights workshop. Several of us from Kehilla recently attended such a workshop, sponsored by Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, in which a popular theater group and members of the audience acted out various scenarios. It became increasingly clear to all of us how important it is to actually practice what to do if ICE appears at the door or if we witness a raid rather than react in panic.
Information for those who may be targets of ICE:
Both citizens and non-citizens have Constitutional rights. The 4th Amendment protects all of us from agents who seek to enter our home or search our belongings without a warrant signed by a judge. The 5th Amendment protects our right to remain silent. We also have the right to ask for an attorney.
-If ICE agents come to your door, do not open it unless the agents have a warrant signed by a judge with your name and address on it. Ask the agents to slide this warrant under the door for you to see. Be aware that the agents may not identify themselves as ICE agents and may try to trick you into opening the door.
-Carry a “Know Your Rights” card to slide under the door to give to the agents. https://www.ilrc.org/red-cards (See below for picture of card.)
– Do not give the agents any verbal information, documents or sign anything without talking to an attorney.
-If you are outside and are stopped you can ask, “Am I free to leave?” If so, you can walk away without showing identification or answering any questions. If not, you can invoke your 5th Amendment right and specifically say you want to remain silent and not answer any further questions.
-Be polite. Do not flee or resist arrest. Do not lie or give false documents.
-If you have an attorney, always carry the name and phone number with you. If you are detained and don’t have your own attorney and need emergency legal help, call the hotline.
-Make an emergency plan for your children, including a document that authorizes another adult to care for minor children if you are detained. An example of such a plan can be found at https://www.ilrc.org/family-peparedness-plan
Rapid Response From the Community:
-ACILEP will be offering ongoing training sessions for first responders to an ICE raid. First responders will be called by the hotline dispatcher to go to the scene of a raid in progress or where a raid has just occurred. Duties include verifying and documenting ICE activity, interviewing witnesses, communicating with the dispatcher and giving moral support to family members or friends of the person/s who have been detained.
-ACILEP and other organizations, including Bay Resistance, are also organizing to alert large numbers of community members when a raid is in progress to come to the scene and witness or, perhaps, stop ICE activity.
If you have questions or would like more information on upcoming rapid response trainings, contact: ImmigrationCommitteeChairs@kehillasynagogue.org