Immigrant-Rights Supporters Call for Volunteers to Monitor ICE Activity in Wyoming
CASPER, WY. | ERIC GALATAS, (Public News Service) – Arrests and deportations of immigrants by ICE agents are on the rise, and the Wyoming Rapid Response Network is looking for more volunteers to help families understand their rights and to connect with attorneys and other resources.
This Saturday, the network is offering free training in Casper.
Antonio Serrano, an organizer with the ACLU of Wyoming, says communities across the state feel under attack, but there is a way for individuals to make a difference.
“We need people to stand up now more than ever,” he stresses. “I think people just kind of get comfortable in their bubbles and we don’t see what’s happening to other families around us.
“There’s a serious need for dedicated volunteers, for people who care and are ready to put in some work.”
More information is available on the group’s Facebook page. Search for Wyoming Rapid Response Network.
After the trainings, so called confirmers will be dispatched to observe and document possible ICE incidents, and help keep other family members up to date if people are taken into custody.
Supporters of ICE detentions and deportations maintain that because immigrants entered the country without proper documentation, raids are justified.
Serrano counters that volunteers actually are helping to ensure that people get fundamental constitutional protections.
He says due process, including serving warrants signed by a judge before ICE can legally enter a home, and other constitutional protections apply to every person, regardless of his or her immigration status.
Serrano says while he knows everyone might not see his group’s efforts in a positive light, he invites people who disagree to have a conversation.
“I’m enforcing the Constitution,” he asserts. “Everyone is entitled to have rights in this country, and I believe in that wholeheartedly.
“I’m standing up for what that Constitution says, and to me that’s the most American thing I can do.”
Serrano argues that when the government has the power to deny legal rights and due process to one vulnerable group, everyone’s rights are at risk.
The Wyoming Rapid Response Network also is looking for volunteers to staff its toll-free hotline, 844-864-8341. The volunteers will field calls about ICE activity.