With the recent high tensions of immigration sweeping the White House and inevitably creating disruption in the homes of many immigrant families, a call to attention by the North Bay Rapid Response Network presented itself on our SSU campus.
On Tuesday September, 25 students, faculty, advisors and other staff members gathered together in the Sonoma State library with one mission in mind: to gain a better understanding and overall knowledge of what they could do if an Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or better known as ICE raid, was ever to take place in our community.
Coordinator Sam Tuttelman took to our campus in hopes of spreading awareness for a 24-hour hotline they created; as well as inform people of the rights that every person, undocumented or documented have under the U.S.. I was absolutely fascinated with the efforts Tuttelman and his team have taken to create such an incredibly useful resource. Before coming to this training I didn't have the faintest idea of how corrupt these raids could actually be.
Tuttelman expressed that “99.9% of ICE raids do NOT have a signed judicial warrant and are therefore unconstitutional. Officers often use deception to gain entry to home and workplaces such as lying about who they are and/or lying to get a person to sign something waiving their rights to a hearing.”
The DREAM Center Coordinator here at Sonoma State, Rosa Salamanca, also attended the Rapid Response training, although it was not her her first time hearing about their organization she was excited to attend. Salamanca is an immigrant from El Salvador herself coming to L.A. at the young age of 16.
While she has done quite a lot of work in the legal services field she later came to discover that her true passion lay in education. Only starting her career here at Sonoma State in mid-January of 2018 she has already been working with undocumented immigrants for over the past 10 years.
Salamanca started hearing about Rapid Response back in L.A. and since moving to NorCal she has seen the expansion they have obtained. The connection Salamanca has with Sonoma State as a school also extends to her community, explaining that, “It’s not just a stand alone issue. Undocumented students look at their community as family.” She also noted that, “It is important to have a campus community that is receptive and welcoming to undocumented individuals and be able to navigate space at school, and in the community as an undocumented individual.”
Resources such as Rapid Response are an essential outlet to be aware of for students and community members. Many immigrants and undocumented immigrants still wake up every day in fear of their life as well as their families, and if you could alleviate some of that fear, wouldn't you?
Tuttelman describing what ICE is and others that are like it, in order to look out for them.
Number to 24-hour hotline that anyone can use if suspicious or during an actual raid for assistance.