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PNS Daily News - October 23, 2020 


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NY Immigrants' Advocates Decry Raids, Educate Community on Rights

A New York-based immigrants' advocacy group is denouncing raids on undocumented immigrants, and advising people at risk about their rights. (Simon Gurney/freeimages)
A New York-based immigrants' advocacy group is denouncing raids on undocumented immigrants, and advising people at risk about their rights. (Simon Gurney/freeimages)
January 8, 2016

NEW YORK - Immigrants' advocates in New York are calling for an end to raids on undocumented individuals by Homeland Security officials.

The New York Immigration Coalition is urging supporters to pressure the White House to end the multi-state operations, which led to the detention of 121 Central American natives over the weekend. Thanu Yakupitiyage, the coalition's communications manager, said the group also is offering free training sessions to educate anyone in the immigrant community about their rights.

"If ICE does not have a warrant, they do not have the right to enter," she said. "You also have the right to remain silent, and you have the right immediately to ask for legal representation, and you have the right to not sign anything. And we say specifically, 'Do not sign anything.' "

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have not yet carried out raids in New York, but she said there is no guarantee they won't. Information about the training sessions can be found on the New York Immigration Coalition's website.

Undocumented immigrants who believe they're at risk of being deported should seek legal counsel now, Yakupitiyage said, adding that many who are being targeted are at a disadvantage because they never did that.

"The administration really needs to stop these raids, because a vast majority of these individuals never had proper representation," she said. "We find that if people do have proper legal representation, they actually have a reasonable need to stay."

Homeland Security officials reportedly are targeting people who were detained for crossing the southern border after May 1, 2014, and were issued final deportation orders but did not leave the country.

More information about DHS policy is online at dhs.gov. Information about training sessions and other services is at nyic.org.

Nia Hamm, Public News Service - NY