Immigrant rights groups this week launched a telephone hotline with the goal of tracking potential federal immigration raids in local communities.
The Colorado Rapid Response Network is staffed with more than 100 volunteers trained to track, verify and confirm ICE raids in immigrant communities, according to Mi Familia Vota, a national group that advocates for Latinos and immigrants.
The Trump administration has so far signaled that it will keep in place Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
But fears continue to swell in immigrant communities over a potential federal crackdown of undocumented immigrants who were not brought to the United States as children.
“On this DACA anniversary I am reminded of the power and resilience of our community, which through constant pressure was able to win DACA for so many people, including me,” said Ana Rodriguez, a DACA recipient and organizer for Colorado People’s Alliance.
“However, in these dangerous times, we must continue to use our power to fight for and protect our parents, friends and neighbors who don’t have the protection that DACA extends.”
Saying that immigrants are “under attack,” groups behind the Colorado Rapid Response Network hope to document “increasingly violent” activity by federal immigration enforcers, though there have been no examples yet in Colorado of any mass federal roundups.
“While I might not be able to show up during a reported incident, I know as a DACAmented person, I have a role in deportation resistance,” Rodriguez said.
The program will help immigrants with legal guidance to “resist ICE civil rights abuses in Colorado.”
The effort is supported by a 24-hour hotline, 1-844-UNITE-41 (1-844-864-8341).
Those who are trained and will staff the hotline will document ICE activities and support families in determining the right course of action during a potential ICE encounter.
“This effort is a way to provide a trusted foundation in fighting the out-of-control federal immigration enforcement apparatus and to stop the spread of misinformation in immigrant communities in light of the fear brought on by xenophobic rhetoric,” read a press release from the groups launching the initiative.
“Information is power, and knowing what to do during times of uncertainty could be the key to keeping our families together,” said Carla Castedo, state director for Mi Familia Vota. “The intention of having this network is to ease the fear in the community by being able to confirm and/or deny activity that is conducted by ICE.”