OPINION | Barry Richard: Massachusetts Text Network Warns of ICE Raids
The Welcome Project has established a Rapid Response Network in Somerville, Massachusetts to provide advanced and immediate notifications of any reported ICE activity in that sanctuary city.
Somerville's Wicked Local reports the Somerville Response Network is a text message service that offers a heads-up to illegals that an immigration raid is either underway, or about to commence.
The system also alerts volunteers who can rush to the scene to assist those impacted or to protest the enforcement action.
Response Network spokesperson Kenia Alfaro tells Wicked Local:
"There is a lot of fear in our immigrant communities. Though we cant put a halt to the actions of the federal government, we can be prepared to help families in our city affected by ICE arrests or deportation move forward in the face of uncertainty."
Organizers say the heads-up given by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf in February that allowed some 800 illegals to elude ICE capture is proof that an early warning system works.
Somerville enacted the Trust Act Ordinance in 2014, which prohibits law enforcement from detaining individuals on the basis of a civil immigration detainer alone.
If ever you are thinking about warning an illegal immigrant about ICE activity, think about how well you know the person you are attempting to protect, and whether they have a criminal background. Think about the agents, whose lives you are placing in danger, and whether they might have families waiting at home.
But most of all, think about how truly stupid it is to put the interests of someone who violated the sovereignty of your country ahead of the safety of your own community and your family, just because it makes you feel good.
A few pieces of good advice: Don't ingest a Tide Pod. Don't use a hair dryer in the bathtub. And don't tip off an illegal immigrant that ICE is on the way.