'Know your rights' workshops aim at informing L.A.'s immigrant community amid potential ICE raids

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Workshops aim at helping immigrants in L.A. know their rights
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Several groups in Los Angeles are coming together in an attempt to help immigrants know their rights amid potential ICE raids.

KOREATOWN, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- With news of potential raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents making headlines, several local groups are coming together in an attempt to help immigrants know their rights.

Although there were no confirmed reports of ICE raids in the Los Angeles area last weekend, immigrants are still living in fear.

One woman who didn't want to be identified, came to L.A. from Guatemala back in 1994 and has a 12-year-old son who is a U.S. citizen.

She attended a workshop Tuesday night to know what to do if ICE comes knocking.

"I just have a big fear of going out anywhere and being detained," she said in Spanish. "Panicking, not knowing what to do. I have a 12-year-old son who is always asking me, what's going to happen and I'm always like, everything's fine. But, deep down inside I have fear."

The workshop organized by the immigration rights group CARECEN-LA is one of many being held in Southern California every week and was streamed on Facebook.

The message: don't open your front door without seeing an order or warrant signed by a judge that has your name on it, and ask for that document to be pushed under your door or placed against a window before letting officials in.

"There is a fear that it's not on people's minds anymore because of the announcements and delays, and then no mass actions," said Camila Alvarez, managing attorney with CARECEN. "The bigger fear is that the community will continue to live in fear as long as these raids keep being threatened without anything, so there's never any time to let your guard down."

CARECEN says it's important immigrants know their rights under the constitution before having contact with immigration officials.