Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu had words of reassurance to undocumented residents, promising that they would be protected by a city that welcomes immigrants.
“We don’t want anyone fearful or scared to drive. This is your country. Don’t be scared. Fear is the beginning of hysteria. The city of Los Angeles will fight on your behalf. Numerous law firms are giving pro bono services. You have rights, and you can act accordingly,” Ryu said in a March 9 press conference.
“If ICE comes to your home, they should identify themselves. ICE has no right to enter your home without a warrant. Keep your door closed and ask them to put [the warrant] under your door so you can see it first,” immigration attorney Martha Ruch said. “Ask, ‘what it is about? Am I being detained or free to go?’ We must stop this line of questioning and assert that we don’t have to share this information.”
Those at risk for deportation should prepare a safety plan if a raid happens at home or in the workplace. People should carry documents that show U.S. residence and avoid documents like passports that reveal immigration status, recommends Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles. The civil rights group also advises people to memorize important phone numbers and store important documents in an accessible place for a family member to retrieve.
Immigrant rights advocates encourage people to document and immediately report any raid they witness in public spaces and record with consent or at least openly in private spaces.
“Show the impact [of raids] on families. Report that back and lift up those constitutional rights. Make sure individuals are safeguarded. Build up momentum to resist mass deportations,” said Apolonio Morales, from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of LA.
Advancing Justice-Los Angeles can provide in-language assistance to people who are concerned about their immigration status and want to protect themselves from deportation.
“We oppose a society where we have to carry legal documents. That’s bad for safety, that’s bad for the community. If you are stopped, let us know. We will challenge it,” executive director Stewart Kwoh said.
To schedule an appointment for immigration or citizenship related services, please contact [email protected] or call Advancing Justice-LA’s toll-free in-language helplines: