An ICE resistance training session was hosted at Blackbird Cafe Saturday night by NorCal Resist.
NorCal Resist is an organization based in Sacramento that is active throughout Northern California and outside of the Bay Area.
NorCal Resist specializes in training sessions informing the public on what to do if you encounter police or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. They also have a “Migra Watch” system that documents and sends ICE raid alerts in real time. They also help reconnect families that may have been separated by ICE.
Core members of Norcal Resist, Ruth Ibarra and labor and employment attorney Autumn Gonzalez presented multiple strategies on what to do if ICE officials begin a raid and what can be done to protect one’s self and others.
Advice given in this training session is not official legal advice. “We’ve all been through extensive training,” Ibarra said. “We are constantly reading on what’s happening, we are constantly out in the community ensuring that our communities protect themselves”.
At a young age, Ibarra witnessed ICE raids and said she still vividly remembers how they happened.
“It was horrific, it was traumatizing,” she said. “You are a five-year-old and you’re watching your family members run from nowhere out of nowhere, screaming shouting hiding in dryers that dry fruit.”
Ibarra and Gonzalez went over what someone can do if someone finds themself in an ICE raid or what to do to help those affected as a bystander.
One of the first things mentioned was to remain silent so that nothing said can be used as evidence.
Another was to not sign anything that an ICE officer may give you. Staying silent is another tip given so that nothing said can be used as evidence.
If someone is a bystander, it’s recommended that they document and record anything that happens using their phone while being careful around law enforcement in order to avoid any legal issues themselves.
Gonzalez also said that it is important that any observers verify that ICE is actually committing a raid in order to reduce any stress that may be caused by misinformation.
“People might not let their kids go to school that day or they might not go to work,” Gonzalez said. “It takes people’s power away.”
Ibarra wants to let any undocumented citizens know that these meetings are a safe place to come learn about your rights.
“Don’t be afraid, these are just trainings, these are to educate yourself on what you can do and to know your rights,” Ibarra said.
NorCal Resist can be contacted at 916-382-0256. A Rapid Response Hotline can be reached at 916-245-6773 for any ICE sightings. Julian Mendoza can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JulianMTheOrion.