The alarming anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from the federal government is an attack on all Americans. New deportation guidelines designate that virtually all undocumented people can be deported, no matter how long they have lived here or whether they have children or family members who are U.S. citizens. Deportations are up 44% since January 2017. Parents have been separated from their children. Some of our neighbors are afraid to report crimes, use vital services, or even take their children to school.
The latest tweet by President Trump vowing to initiate mass immigration arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) exacerbates the real and perceived impacts this would have on our immigrant families in Marin County.
Since launching in August 2017, the Marin Rapid Response Network operates on a limited budget to protect the civil rights of Marin community members targeted by ICE and help detainees and their families. We have a fully bilingual, 24-hour Countywide hotline for local residents to contact when they see or experience an ICE raid. The hotline dispatcher sends volunteer observers immediately to verify the event, collect information, and observe whether any civil rights violations take place. Information collected is used to mobilize immediate help when needed, and can also support detainees' legal cases.
We are asking for your support so that our friends, loved ones, and neighbors who are immigrants are not alone in this scary time. We are here to help them handle a terrifying situation, should ICE come to their door, place of employment or stop their car. We are here to do our very best to protect their civil rights. We are here to stand with immigrants who contribute so much to this county and all of our lives. We are here to care for those among us whose security is being threatened right now.
To date, we have received 451 total calls on the hotline with 5 bilingual hotline dispatchers and 74 volunteer observers who are prepared to respond. We have obtained state-of-the-art open source hotline software. We are, often times, the first point of contact for affected community members and a referral source to legal services and physical and moral support in the form of Accompaniment. Moreover, we have a committed volunteer base of more than 250 individuals; many of whom attend our monthly Rapid Response Network meetings and free trainings we offer yearly. The hotline and its many functions continue to offer a sense of security and comfort to immigrant families in their greatest time of need.
The hotline also serves as the linchpin of a broader network – California Coalition for Immigrant Justice - through which local partner organizations provide services including “Know Your Rights” training, immigration law, counseling, and safety net services.
The Multicultural Center of Marin – formerly the Canal Welcome Center- an established community nonprofit organization, is the lead agency for the hotline and observer response. With your support, we will be able to operate the hotline for another year.
In order to sustain our efforts for six months, we need to raise a minimum of $25,000 to cover expenses.
With your generous donation, you will directly assist in the functioning of the Marin Rapid Respond Network such as:
· Provide allocated staff time to operate the hotline and broader network
· Offer free trainings to community members to become bilingual dispatchers and/or legal observers
· Assist in the distribution of Know Your Rights material and general information about immigration updates to the community
· Refer community members on hotline to legal services and Accompaniment
· Support the education and advocacy efforts of Immigrant Rights Coalitions in Marin County
This effort gives all who care about the safety and well-being of our neighbors and their families a chance to take direct action. Please join us.
If you are interested in volunteering, please leave a comment below.
For more information about the Marin Rapid Response Network, please visit our website at www.marinrrn.org