Secure Your Rights

Somber expressions reflect the seriousness of the matter as Supervisor Hilda Solis speaks up for immigrants targeted for ICE raids, with Public Defender Ricardo García (right) and Executive Director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs Rigo Reyes during the July 12 press conference.

With raids to arrest thousands of undocumented families in major areas such as Los Angeles County expected to begin on Sunday, Supervisor Hilda Solis warned residents not to answer the door if officials do not have a warrant.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement will reportedly raid targeted individuals but may detain immigrants who happened to be on the scene.

“To rip a child from the warm and loving embrace of their family is an unspeakable crime against humanity,” Solis said during a July 12 press conference held at the Hall of Administration. “The United States has been and will always be a nation of immigrants. I call on all Americans to reject the politics of division, hate and fear.”

She said to ask for legal representation and have an action plan ready with instructions to relatives or neighbors about guardianship of children, family members’ contact information, locations of bank account numbers and birth certificates.

Solis was surrounded by several LA County department leaders including Public Defender Ricardo García; Executive Director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs Rigo Reyes; Director of the Department of Children and Family Services Bobby Cagle; as well as community organizations.

“Los Angeles County stands strong and unified in opposition to federal immigration enforcement that separates families and instills fear in our residents,” Solis said, adding that LA County is home to 3.5 million immigrants. “Our immigrant population makes significant contributions to the economy and diverse culture of our county.”

Family members who are arrested together reportedly will be held in detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania. Although some may end up staying in hotel rooms until their travel documents can be prepared for deportation.

Repeating his comments en Español, García spoke of the Public Defender’s Immigration Unit, which in part assesses adverse immigration consequences of prior criminal convictions.

Public Defender Ricardo García emphasized the importance of helping one another during a time of need, with Supervisor Hilda Solis (right), Rigo Reyes and a representative from Clínica Romero.

“Our immigration lawyers are here to assist you,” García said. “Through Supervisor Solis’ leadership and the support of the Board, my Office for the first time in its history has dedicated attorneys who provide support on immigrant and criminally tied matters. That is an unprecedented reality in the County of Los Angeles and across the country.

“The lawyers are available to provide you contacts and support on different levels of immigration needs.”

He emphasized the importance of “helping each other.”

“Those individuals that may be threatened Sunday or in the future are your neighbors,” García said.

People who, on any given day, you may talk with, babysit, go to dinner with, rideshare with, he said.

“They are no different simply because now draconian laws and measures are being placed in front of us to treat them as if they were not part of our community,” he said. “Remember that and give them support and help.”

García said the children — the most vulnerable in our community — will be the most deeply affected.

“As the son of immigrants, I can tell you that whether it’s today or in the past, the reality and fear that it causes in a child’s heart that the government might come and take their parents away is everlasting,” García said.

“And Supervisor Solis and this Board have made sure that the agencies and the leadership in this County are available to you to help protect you and ensure that your rights are secured.”