A handful of people were picked up by immigration agents in Atwater during the weekend, according to advocates and a witness. The U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, did not confirm the number of arrests from Sunday morning, but advocates for undocumented immigrants told the Sun-Star five people were picked up in deportation efforts in Atwater.
Activists claim U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested or detained nearly a dozen individuals in Northern California this past weekend. Volunteers with “rapid response” networks — groups that monitor ICE behavior in communities and help immigrants with legal services — released a statement decrying the arrests as an “ugly campaign of intimidation from the Trump administration’s deportation force.”
Local advocates are calling on elected officials, law enforcement and allies in Merced County to unite against the recent deportation efforts happening in Atwater and surrounding areas. Five men in Atwater were picked up by the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, on Sunday morning and advocates rallied together quickly in response to the “unjust” way the five men were taken, they say.
Stockton city leaders are working with community groups to come up with a response to deal with the raids and help people understand their rights. “We are asking people, don’t give false information either, it’s better not to say anything, don’t try and change your name, for sure we don’t want you to try and run, any of those things. We just want to make sure you remain silent until you get an attorney,” said Pastor Trena Turner, executive director of Faith in the Valley.
The Supreme Court refused on Monday to fast-track the Trump administration’s directive for DACA to end next week, buying time for nearly 700,000 people like Hernandez who have received work permits and been temporarily protected from deportation through the program. About 18,000 people in Fresno, Tulare and Madera counties qualify for DACA. “You hear they’re working on a solution, but at the same time you see all the attacks and ICE raids here in the Valley, so you don’t know what to expect.”
In this Línea Abierta program , the Radio Bilingual News director, Samuel Orozco breaks down these and other topics with a group of distinguished guests, the Dreamers movement, a movement of the Christian faith, and political activism. Orozco offers a panoramic view of some of the dreamers' fighting possibilities, and also makes an important announcement.
Pitman Family Farms, Poindexter Nut Company and Fresh Select LLC have each been notified by ICE that their employee records will soon be audited, Faith in the Valley lead organizer Thomas Weiler said. Faith in the Valley typically offers outreach services to low-income workers, undocumented immigrants, youth and other underserved groups.
On February 6, community activists from Faith in the Valley held a rally outside the Bee Sweet packing shed. Stan Santos, a member of Communications Workers of America Local 9408, represented the local labor council in supporting the workers, who have no union. “People are very scared,” he charges. “Since ICE has all the records, they know where people live. Some workers are afraid they'll be visited at home.”
The 40 days of lent have begun and here in Bakersfield, that means 40 days of protests. The people behind the demonstrations said they're giving up a little bit of their time for lent in hopes of getting permanent protections for children brought to the country illegally. Faith in the Valley Kern is a network of churches and congragations and you'll see them fighting for DACA recipients outside local congressional offices until Easter Sunday.
According to Sierra Health Foundation, one in three children in the Valley lives in poverty, and in some counties nearly half of all children live in neighborhoods with high poverty rates. “Our policymakers cannot solve the problem of inequity in the state between race, income and health, or help the state truly be the Golden State, unless we examine and confront the complex issues that continue to plague the San Joaquin Valley,” said Pastor Trena Turner, Executive Director, Faith in the Valley.