In the past week, we have all heard rumors of possible ICE enforcement action in the interior of the U.S. Just Neighbors has no direct information on the likelihood of these raids but remains concerned about the negative impact the detention of area immigrants may have on the rich fabric of residents, both immigrants and native born, here in Virginia.
While it appears that those with prior removal orders MAY be the targets of such raids, it is imperative for all immigrants to be aware of their rights under the U.S. constitution and other federal, state, and local laws. Here are some direct steps that all Virginia residents can take to ensure the safety of our communities from unwanted ICE activity:
1) Host or attend a Know Your Rights presentation in your area; however, be aware that widespread advertising of KYR presentations may draw unwanted attention;
2) Offer or ask if one of your colleagues, neighbors, friends, acquaintances need accompaniment to appointments; particularly, appointments in court or with ICE.
3) Donate your time, treasure, or talent to organizations which work with immigrants and refugees.
Just Neighbors has provided immigration legal services for 23 years here in Virginia and we have seen both good and bad times affect our immigrant and refugee clients. Throughout it all, we have served with compassion and provided quality legal services. We continue to ramp up our efforts to serve immigrants both in and out of detention facilities. Moreover, 2019 has seen an expansion of Just Neighbors services to other corners of Virginia which remain woefully underserved by immigration legal service providers. Despite the rhetoric and actions directed at our immigrant neighbors of late, we know these troubling times will pass. Just Neighbors, with the support of our donors, volunteers, and community as a whole, will continue to serve our clients with all our energy and we remain inspired by the dignity and resiliency of our immigrant community in Virginia.
Know Your Rights Training in Case of ICE Raids for Service Providers presented by Legal Aid Justice Center and VACOLAO
ACLU – Know Your Rights, Immigrants Rights
Videos demonstrating what to do when facing an encounter with immigration officials (English)
Videos in Spanish