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Learn More About Immigration Task Force Monterey County

How We Began

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Originally members of Indivisible Monterey County, the Immigration Task Force Monterey County formed immediately following the issuance of the 2017 Muslim ban by the new administration. At this meeting, several people voiced outrage and deep concern for undocumented families and friends they knew who were afraid to go to work and whose children refused to go to school because they were terrified that their family would be torn apart by deportation.

We each shared the desire to protect, defend, and empower immigrant communities by providing them with information and tools to protect themselves from the increasing threat of ICE raids. We sent out a call to interested members in all indivisible chapters in Monterey County and anyone who wanted to help defend the rights of immigrants.

Our next step was to ask threatened community members what their families needed to feel safer. From there, we began to build bridges between other organizations and a strategy to build trust across communities.

What We Believe

We Believe That No Human Being Is Illegal

We believe that migration is an inherent human drive. From the moment humanity first walked upright, we have walked our way across the face of the earth. The United States is largely a nation of immigrants, including indigenous peoples who walked here across land bridges that no longer exist.

An understanding of human evolution and anthropology tells us that migration in search of a better life is a fundamental instinct. We do not believe that migration is wrong or that any human being should be branded as illegal because they are trying to find a better life for themselves and their families.

Thanks to our country’s founders, all people who stand on the soil within the boundaries of the United States have certain rights and protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. These rights apply to all, regardless of immigration status.

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Accomplishments

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Since our beginning, we have successfully:

  • Established a central, countywide hotline and database in order to notify and mobilize volunteers to verify and document ICE activity in the county.
  • Brought San Francisco-based trainers from Migra Watch and Pangea Legal Services to Monterey County to train some 150 volunteers in how to safely and peacefully monitor and document detention scenes as part of the Rapid Response Network.
  • Created a Know Your Rights Card, commonly called the Red Card, that provides a quick primer on rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and geared specifically to the needs of Monterey County residents.
  • Created a hotline card for residents to use to notify our trained dispatchers in the event of the ICE coming into their community.
  • To date, we have printed and distributed over 100,000 of each of these cards throughout Monterey County.
  • Worked to build a coalition of organizations, legal professionals, unions, and individuals to coordinate activities and share information and legal developments.
  • Sponsored protests in response to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) repeal, family separations, children being held in cages – and to celebrate community events from Castroville to King City, such as the annual United Farm Workers’ (UFW) Cesar Chavez march, El Grito, Cinco de Mayo, and Dia del Niño.
  • Organized Know Your Rights sessions and Rapid Response trainings throughout the county.
  • In collaboration with Building Healthy Communities, we organized trainings for individuals to help parents complete child safety forms to specify who they wish to care for their children should they not be present to do so.
  • Began working with the Catholic Diocese of Monterey to help educate migrant parents and residents throughout the county on how to nominate a caregiver for their children should they not be able to be with them.
  • Began holding parent education sessions in the Monterey County public school system.
  • Continued participating in informal cafecitos in elementary schools throughout the county.

Our work will continue as long as the need exists to defend the rights of people who wish to migrate to our country.

"We can’t let people drive wedges between us…because there’s only one human race."
– Dolores Huerta