Currently, we are developing Rapid Response Reno through our Immigration Reform efforts. Rapid Response Reno will be a hotline that comes attached with a rapid response network that will be available 24/7 to observe and document tips regarding ICE detentions and raids.
Our current administration’s racist rhetoric and policies have greatly increased fear and anxiety in Reno’s immigrant community. In our current President’s first 100 days in office, ICE arrests nationally increased 38% from the same time period the year before. Even more concerning is the 150% increase in non-criminal ICE arrests.
Rapid Response Reno will be a network of trained community leaders that the community can feel safe calling to report any ICE activity. These leaders will have specific roles to effectively respond to these calls:
1) Volunteer dispatchers will staff this hotline 24-hours a day to record all the necessary information about the activity and then activate a group of rapid responders based on proximity to the incident.
2) Rapid responders (who are trained as legal observers) will verify the activity and, if possible, take photos and video to document ICE’s interaction with the detained community member(s).
3) Upon receiving this information, a dispatcher will notify a network of volunteer attorneys to find a lawyer able to go file for representation of the individual. The network will also work to secure long-term representation if needed.
4) The dispatcher will also notify an accompaniment team who will reach out to family members left behind to connect them to mental health and financial support through an affiliated network of service providers and faith communities.
5) The network will also be set to build strong community support and mobilize for direct action to secure the release of community members from detention, offer sanctuary to individual faced with imminent deportation, and/or secure stays of deportation.
Rapid Response Reno will build a community where immigrants no longer live in fear, but, rather, are embraced by their neighbors and joined in their struggle against an unjust and inhumane immigration system.
Ultimately, we believe that Rapid Response Reno is an effective tool to not only fight against the harmful policies of the current adminisatrion, but also to catalyze and cultivate a powerful social justice movement in the region. This movement will be led by those most impacted by injustice and strengthened by a broad coalition of community partners. We believe this movement will not only defend the dream, but boldly and courageously pursue it.