Why are we building Migra Watch teams?
We want to develop a community infrastructure where directly impacted community members and allies can respond to ICE raids in our own neighborhoods in real time. When ICE targets someone in our community, we will respond, document, and offer support and resources. No more ICE raids in the shadows.
How does Migra Watch work?
Immigrants in will have access to our 24-hour Migra Watch Hotline (see the full list of other local hotlines below). Hotline dispatchers will guide the impacted community member on their rights during an ICE raid in real time. Simultaneously, a text-alert will go out based on zip-codes to hundreds of trained volunteer legal observers within the vicinity of the ICE raid. Available volunteer teams will deploy to the site of the raid to document the raid with their phones, hold space, and be a presence for the family. The raids often happen in the morning and throughout the day, so we need people who are committed. In order to start a Migra Watch team in a city, we need at least 40 people trained and registered on the Migra Watch software.
Roles of a Migra Watch Volunteer:
1. Verify the raid: There is a lot of fear and anxiety, so some of the calls may be false alarms. Volunteers will help verify whether a raid is actually happening before rumors create panic.
2. Moral and Legal Observers: Migra Watch teams document what’s happening during the raid, gather information to support the legal team, expose ICE malpractices and abuses with the media, and refer families to attorneys. Some basic tips:
Take video and pictures of vehicles and the agents
Take notes: Time, location, how many agents, what is being said and the tone, describe any violent actions and/or racist, xenophobic, condescending words, what is happening, did they take people?
Do not engage with ICE
3. Connect the Victims to Legal Resources and the Accompaniment Team: After immigration officials have left (or if the team arrives after the raid is completed), the volunteer team will talk to the family to be a presence for them. Get information about what happened, the names of who was detained, and then connect the family with the local legal rapid response network to make sure the detainees have legal representation. For families left behind during an ICE raid, an accompaniment team of volunteers will support them as needed through the immigration process of their loved one.
4. Connect to our Movement: By having allies and those directly impacted by ICE raids work together, we will build a stronger movement for immigrant rights.
How can I request a training?
We partner with local community groups to offer Community Defense Trainings (KYR) and Solidarity Trainings (Legal Observer) in the surrounding Bay Area. The trainings are developed to strengthen the communities' understanding of immigration enforcement and their ability to protect one another against ICE enforcement. Currently solidarity trainings are on hold while community defense trainings are being prioritized.