In the sanctuary city of Sacramento, Calif., a “Rapid Response Immigration hotline” has been set up to allow residents to report federal immigration enforcement operations and provide legal services to illegal immigrants detained by ICE. The volunteer effort coincides with a $300,000 legal services fund approved by the city council to fight the Trump administration’s deportation efforts, Fox 40 reports.
A faith-based coalition of so-called “immigrant rights groups,” called Sacramento ACT, announced the hotline Thursday.
"It's very simple, wherever ICE is, community will be there to document and witness," said Gabby Trejo, associate director with Sacramento ACT. According to the Sacramento Bee, when someone calls the hotline, a volunteer team of legal observers will investigate and document what happens during the raid.
"Their role in only to observe, not to interfere. They have been trained by lawyers about their rights and what are the consequences of interfering," Trejo said.
President Donald Trump has directed ICE agents to enforce the nation’s immigration laws more aggressively, leading to backlash from liberal groups and government officials opposed to the president’s policies.
"We are not going to trade the civil rights of people for federal money. You compromise a lot in politics but you don't compromise civil rights," Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said in January.
The Sacramento City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to create a $300,000 fund for “a network of legal, educational and faith-based nonprofit groups that will help city residents with immediate immigration problems and advise on how to protect children and assets if parents are deported in the future.
The city council also enacted an ordinance that makes it illegal for police and other city employees to ask about an individual’s immigration status.
Sacramento is one of several sanctuary cities that have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration to block an executive order cutting off federal funding to cities that refuse to comply with federal immigration law enforcement.
The mayor of Sacramento believes “doubling down” on the city’s sanctuary city policies is the right thing to do.
“This is in fact a moral issue,” the mayor said, per the Sacramento Bee. “What's more important than ensuring that people who are threatened, people who are scared, people who just want to be part of us, that we provide them the legal protection they need.”