The New Mexico Dream Team discussed immigrants’ rights and resources at a community gathering at South Valley Academy Monday.
Isaac de Luna, an undergraduate student at the University of New Mexico and the communications director for the NM Dream Team, addressed what to do if Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, were to come to a community member’s home.
The tips included:
There is no obligation to open the door to anyone.
Keep in mind the right to remain silent.
Do not sign anything — even if they present what seems to be an order for removal — unless an attorney is present.
Create an emergency plan to secure family members and possessions.
De Luna said the NM Dream Team’s Deportation Defense Department provides resources to help families create emergency plans.
During the community gathering the NM Dream Team placed community members in different scenarios to help them prepare for situations in which ICE comes to a home. They also demonstrated what to do if pulled over.
Felipe Rodriguez, the NM Dream Team’s field organizer, said people should record every part of an interaction with ICE and not answer if ICE asks for documentation.
“Under the Trump administration we’ve seen an increase in the detention and arrest of immigrants across the country,” de Luna said. “We know that the Trump administration has said that (immigrants) are criminals, but the reality is that in the majority of cases, non-criminal immigrants are also being swept up by ICE and their enforcement tactics.”
The NM Dream Team has a hotline (1 844-363-1423, extension 102) that can be used to determine if ICE or other activity in the area has been spotted, and can be used as a resource to report any activity, de Luna said.
The American Civil Liberties Union created an app in New Mexico called . Through this app, people can record an incident with immigration enforcement or law enforcement and store it in a database with ACLU, de Luna said. That information can be used as evidence for legal cases.
“As we learn about these cases we also help people or families develop campaigns to fight the deportation of their loved one,” de Luna said.
The meeting ended with groups of people sharing their stories with one another.
Alejandra Ramirez Solano, a junior at UNM majoring in psychology with a minor in Spanish and in the pre-medical program, attended the event. She said she is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient and a spokesperson for the New Mexico Dream Team.
“We wanted to just come together as a community and pretty much just show people that they’re not alone,” Solano said.
Amy Byres is a news and culture reporter at the Daily Lobo. She primarily writes profiles on DACA recipients. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @amybyres12.