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Groups Reignite 24HR Hotline to Support Immigrants

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Grassroots groups are encouraging anyone who witnesses U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement activities to call a toll-free 24-hour hotline at 844-UNITE-41. (ICE/Wikimedia Commons)
Grassroots groups are encouraging anyone who witnesses U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement activities to call a toll-free 24-hour hotline at 844-UNITE-41. (ICE/Wikimedia Commons)
February 20, 2018

DENVER – A coalition of labor, faith, and grassroots organizers is renewing efforts to assist immigrants targeted for deportation. The Colorado Rapid Response Network provides legal assistance, know-your-rights training, and a 24-hour hotline to mobilize protection and document raids conducted by ICE.

Shanta Farrington, an organizer for the group, United for a New Economy, says this week's relaunch is an effort to draw attention to the situation facing community members without documentation.

"It's a fearful time because no one knows what's next," she says. "It's a fearful time because our immigrant communities are having to decide whether or not they want to stay with their families or if sanctuary is an option. Going outside every day is a risk that the immigrant population is taking."

Farrington says with Congressional efforts to pass a national DREAM Act stalled, fear of mass deportations is on the rise and misinformation is spreading. She says the hotline is one way for people to get reliable information, and tap a growing number of community organizations and volunteers for support.

Farrington notes President's Day was picked for the relaunch because since President Trump took office, immigrants rights groups have seen what they call an attack on communities' civil liberties. She says an all-hands-on-deck response is necessary to identify patterns of abuse and to hold ICE accountable. Farrington says she hopes the 24-hour hotline will be a useful tool for anyone in the state targeted by ICE, or witnessing ICE activities near courtrooms or in the streets.

"If you firmly believe that immigrants have a right to be here, and immigrants are just like us, and everyone has a right to support their families - this hotline really protects people from having their rights taken away," she explains.

The toll-free hotline number is 844-864-8341, or 844-UNITE-41.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO