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Mayor vows to ‘stand behind our immigrant communities’

San Francisco Mayor London Breed, city officials and community organizers gathered at City Hall in preparation for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in the Bay Area, including in The City.

President Donald Trump brought fear again to many immigrants living in the Bay Area that ICE agents would attempt detentions Sunday. He made the same threat last month, but delayed the plan by two weeks.

Breed said:

“As part of our sanctuary city policy, our city is committed to not dedicating any financial resources to cooperating with ICE. We will support and standby with our immigrant community and continue to invest and provide resources to help address what we know will be a challenging time.”

The mayor reminded the public that anyone approached by agents has the right to remain silent, right to a lawyer and that agents need a judicial warrant to enter a person’s home.

She also shared resources the public can utilize, including The City’s Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs, who can provide legal services for immigrants. The office’s phone number is (415) 581-2360.

Anyone from the public who witnesses an ICE raid can call The City’s Rapid Response Hotline can call (415) 200-1548.

Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, who has authored many bills to protect immigrants in the state, said:

“We are unfortunately here because Donald Trump has decided to continue to wage his war against our immigrant communities. A war that is immoral, unjust, racist and xenophobic for his political gain with the announcement of raids that are meant deliberately to sow fears in our communities.”

Chiu addressed the president and his administration directly when he said:

“Mr. Trump and to the department that is coming after our families, if you want to come after them, you’re going to have to come through all of us.”

Marisela Esparza, who oversees The City’s rapid response hotline, said they monitored a recent wave of immigrant arrests in Contra Costa, Sonoma and Santa Clara counties, but could not conclusively say the arrests were part of an ICE operation.

Esparza added that ICE operations have become more “covert,” with agents employing extensive surveillance of persons they are trying to apprehend.

Hong Mei Pang, Chinese for Affirmative Action executive director of advocacy, said their organization and other advocacy groups will monitor the rapid response hotline around the clock:

“We will connect detained immigrants to legal services and protect civil and immigrant rights that are foundational to our democracy.”

Esparza said they have more than three dozen attorneys ready to help any immigrants detained through Sunday’s planned operation.

Breed said:

“We are in this together. We will continue to stand behind our immigrant communities and we will make it through together.”

More protests against the weekend ICE operations are planned for Friday throughout the Bay Area, including in front of ICE offices in The City.

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