Immigrant Assistance Hotline Launched

Immigrant rights groups that say they are concerned undocumented immigrants don't receive due process when they're arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers now offer legal help of sorts for those who face deportation.

Immigrants of every status are frightened by stories of ICE raids, many just rumors, so Gabby Trejo of Sacramento Area Congregations Together says they've created a hotline people can call if they think ICE has come to take someone - and legal observers will respond who have been specially trained by lawyers.  "What are their rights as legal observers, and what are consequences of anybody inteferring," according to Trejo. "Our intention is only to bear witness to what is happening in the community."  

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones says despite the group's claims his department cooperates with ice, that cooperation only happens inside the jail because, otherwise, dangerous people will get out. "It's much convenient and safer for everybody if ICE is allowed to come our jail, where the bad guys already are," countered Jones, "then to go into our communities and go after the bad guys once they get out of our jail."

Sheriff Jones says his department does not ask the immigration status of those they arrest, nor do they participate in any sweeps or joint operations with ICE.

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