In the face of escalated ICE enforcement, faith communities in Fresno and across the Central Valley rallied support to accompany and defend families threatened with militarized immigration enforcement.
Within a 72 hour period, volunteers responded to 1,123 phone calls reminding people of their rights, troubleshooting rumors, and helping families identify strategies to defend their community. Close to 30 individuals contacted our volunteers because a family member had been detained by ICE. Accompaniment teams organized to come up with emergency funding for rent and food, and ensured that families did not have to stand alone in this time. Individuals across the Valley were able to connect with trustworthy legal service providers, and in the following weeks, people returned home to fight their cases due to the amazing efforts of volunteer legal service providers. The Valley Watch Network has 12 dispatchers who are now fielding 60 calls per week to help families.
One of the people the Valley Watch Network recently helped was Lazaro, a DACA holder. His dad contacted us back in February because his son had been detained. After months of fighting his case in court while Lazaro was held in detention, his dad sent us this picture thanking volunteers for standing with his family. He is just one of many individuals that has been impacted by the powerful work of the Valley Watch Network.
Please reach out to Ariana@faithinthevalley.org if you or your congregation want to be involved in this ministry.