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Community advocates urge migrants to know their rights ahead of ICE Raids

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Posted at 6:36 PM, Jun 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-22 22:05:53-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)-- President Trump's decision to delay nationwide ICE raids by two weeks is not stopping some San Diego community advocates from working overtime, educating migrants to know their rights.

For Benjamin Prado, "Deportation" is always on his mind.

"We see a policy of terror," Prado said.

As a community advocate for 'American Friends Service Committee,' he connects migrants with various services. He has worked with those who were arrested at the Zion Market ICE Raid in February 2019.

"Whether people have documents or not, people have the right to work, and people have the right to produce and create a meaningful life for themselves," Prado said.

Saturday, President Trump disagreed saying, "Everybody that came into the country illegally will be brought out of the country very legally."

So even when the President announced that he would delay the planned nationwide ICE Raids initially scheduled to begin Sunday, Prado's work remains the same.

"We are on a permanent campaign of informing families what their rights are," Prado said. "What their constitutional rights are, ensuring that they know that they don't have to speak to immigration law-enforcement, that they don't have to open the door, that they should demand to see any form of warrants that they have, whether it be judicial or administrative warrants that ICE produces."

In a Tweet Saturday, Gavin Newsom agreed saying, "When we talk about knowing your rights, 'no abras la puerta.' Without a warrant, you don't have to open the door."

Prado says it is imperative that families have a serious conversation with their children and relatives now, to avoid what are called "collateral arrests."

"There have been instances where Immigration and Customs Enforcement not only goes after the individual, but they also go after family members," Prado said. "That is the other aspect of it. It is to inform and ensure that the entire family is able to defend their rights beyond just the individual that has a final removal."

Prado recommends to network with humanitarian organizations. 10News contacted the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego, which announced their status as a 'Sanctuary Church.' They sent this statement:

"The First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego chose to become a Sanctuary congregation because we believe as people of faith that no person is illegal, and that safe living conditions are a human right. We call on our government to choose to treat people humanely, to ensure people's human rights are respected, and to respect people's dignity and worth. We are concerned that these roundups will include many who are here legally and that bias and discrimination will be wide-spread. Our vote to be a sanctuary church was a decision to open the doors to those in need. While we are limited by our space and resources, we continue to work with community partners to offer us guidance as to where the greatest need is at the moment.
- Rev. Ian W. Riddell (First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego)