Immigrant advocates swarmed with calls amid concerns about ICE raids, deportations
SEATTLE - All across the country, heightened awareness of Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids have fanned fears among immigrants about possible deportations.
Immigration advocacy groups in the Puget Sound region, like the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project (NWIRP), have been flooded with calls.
“We're getting all kinds of questions and concerns,” said Jorge Baron, NWIRP Executive Director. “We’ve seen an increase of our community being worried about all the executive action."
Baron said the non-profit is overwhelmed answering questions about detentions and deportations, ICE raids and reports like the one that came out Friday that the Department of Homeland Security is considering mobilizing the National Guard to help round up unauthorized immigrants.
“Things are changing so rapidly. The information we provide one day might change in 48 hours,” said Baron.
Many of the calls also stem from rumors said Baron.
“The level of anxiety in the community is so high that we are also getting a lot of situations where people may perceive things to be an immigration raid when, in fact, it isn't,” said Baron.
Casa Latina in Seattle is seeing a wave of concern too.
“We’ve seen an increase in calls,” said Carino Barragan with Casa Latina.
Casa Latina helps immigrants workers find jobs, It offers English classes, health and safety training, and worker rights workshops.
“We've had to put together to some, "Know Your Rights” trainings, community forums, and come together with other groups to figure out some plans to protect and defend our community." said Barragan.
Legal and immigrant rights advocacy groups said they expect to get more calls in the days to come when President Trump issues a revised Executive Order on immigration.
The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project is holding several Know Your Rights workshops throughout the state in the next few weeks.
The group is educating people on how they can prepare the possibility for being detained or deported and what resources they'll have at their disposal.