To build a strong coalition of organizations and individuals prepared to defend the legal rights of Monterey County’s immigrants and to assist with family safety and preparedness in case of a family member’s detention by ICE. The work of the Immigration Task Force is based on the 4th, 5th, and 10th amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America.
Indivisible’s Immigration Task Force has its roots in the first meeting of Indivisible Monterey County in February 2017. At this meeting, a group of County residents came together who were concerned by the anti-immigrant climate stemming from the 2016 Presidential election.
That night, a number of people spoke of 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 the family would be torn apart by deportation.
These concerned individuals shared the desire to help protect immigrant communities from the increasing threat of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, and the result was a task force formed to explore what we could do to help. The group opened the task force to interested members in all Indivisible chapters in Monterey County as well as any individuals dedicated to defending the rights of immigrants.
In our First Hundred Days, the Immigration Task Force accomplished the following:
1. Created, printed and distributed 30,000 each of Know Your Rights cards, commonly called the Red Card, specifically geared to the needs of Monterey County residents.
2. Established a central, county-wide Rapid Response hotline and database to notify and mobilize volunteers to verify and document ICE activity in the county.
3. Created, printed and distributed 30,000 hotline cards to the immigrant community through Latino grassroots organizations, unions, and non-profits.
4. Worked in coalitions of unions, organizations and individuals in vulnerable Monterey County areas to coordinate and communicate Rapid Response activities and attract new volunteers.
5. Brought San Francisco-based trainers from MigraWatch and Pangea Legal Services to Monterey County to train over 100 Rapid Response volunteers in how to safely and peacefully monitor and document detention scenes.
6. Received training by the Monterey County Bar Association in family preparedness and pre-guardianship paperwork – to help immigrant families prepare in the event of detention or deportation.
7. Assisted immigrant parents seeking to protect their children by participating in mobile law clinics sponsored by the Monterey County Bar Association.
Since then, we have funded, printed and distributed 60,000+ Know Your Rights and hotline cards,sponsored and organized more training, helped connect grassroots community groups, and set up a separate call line for people to request cards, help with referrals, and ask questions regarding ICE activity.
Our work will continue as long as there is a need to defend the rights of people who wish to migrate to our country.