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Santa Clara Co. community defense project seeks to protect immigrant families

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After what's believed to the largest local sweep of workplaces by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents since President Trump took office, many are now wondering what could come next. (KGO-TV)

After what's believed to the largest local sweep of workplaces by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents since President Trump took office, many are now wondering what could come next.

For immigration advocates, the search for clarity and understanding continues on. "We're just being vigilant. This is an immigrant community, so it hits home," Rosa De Leon of Sacred Heart Community Service.

RELATED: New concern after ICE agents hit 77 NorCal businesses

Federal immigration agents visited 77 businesses across Northern California this week, demanding proof that their employees are legally allowed to work in the United States.

De Leon volunteers with the Rapid Response Network in Santa Clara County, a community defense project which seeks to protect immigrant families from separation.

They've been responding to a number of calls from those who are concerned about their employers being targeted, including at least one business in Santa Clara that was served with an I-9 audit notice the other day.

RELATED: South Bay supervisor calls ICE raids at 7-Eleven stores 'tragic'

"We're making sure that these workers know what their rights are and have the legal support that they need," De Leon said.

In the city of Gilroy on Thursday, multiple community members reported seeing what they thought were raids on local businesses. "It's the first state to go sanctuary, so we're gonna get it. We knew that," De Leon said.

The Department of Homeland Security did not return our request for confirmation, but city officials say they're looking into the matter on behalf of their residents.

RELATED: Report: ICE to start tracking license plates across US

"It has an impact on their state of mind, on their just overall comfort, on even their quality of life," said Gilroy Mayor Roland Velasco. "We want to have a trusting, positive relationship with not just our immigrant community, but with all citizens."

Many are stressing the importance of not spreading rumors when it comes to sightings of ICE. "We want our folks to ask who saw this, what did they see, and call the hotline immediately so that we're able to dispatch rapid responders to confirm whether or not immigration enforcement is taking place in the community," De Leon said.

The hotline can be reached at (408) 290-1144.

RELATED: UC Berkeley student back in Bay Area after ICE release

Click here for more stories about immigration.

Related Topics:
politicsICEimmigrationbusinessimmigration reformemploymentraiddepartment of homeland securitycommunitySan FranciscoSan JoseSacramento
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