News

Fear spreads as feds plan to expand deportations

Local residents prepare contingency plans if they are separated from their children

Pledges by Mountain View and other Bay Area cities to stand by their immigrant communities could soon be tested under a sweeping new plan for deportations issued by President Donald Trump's administration.

A Department of Homeland Security memo issued on Monday, Feb. 21, revealed plans to expand the scope for removing undocumented immigrants. The new guidelines would include undocumented people who have fraudulently sought public benefits or have been charged with a criminal offense, even if they were not convicted. The plan also includes a catch-all clause to allow deportations for non-citizens who are deemed a risk to public safety or national security.

As the news spread this week, the ramifications rattled the local migrant community. On Tuesday night, Maria Marroquin, director of the Mountain View Day Worker Center, warned city officials that families and residents are now living under a constant state of fear. Many are reportedly preparing contingency plans, including writing up legal statements detailing who should take custody of their children or property in the event they are removed from the country.

"We're in a state of emergency," Marroquin said. "We have a lot of fear in our community. I believe the city needs to take care of this situation."

Even before the new rules were publicized, tensions were at a high point. Those fears went into overdrive last week as rumors began spreading across the Bay Area of federal agents conducting immigration raids. The reports, spread mainly on social media, warned of checkpoints and random roundups by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in areas of in Mountain View, as well as Richmond, Oakland, Contra Costa County and San Carlos.

But those reports of sweeping roundups were false, said Ilyce Shugall, an attorney with the Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto. While much uncertainly hangs over undocumented residents, there have been no verified reports of ICE engaging in mass roundups so far, she said.

"There's so much panic in the community right now, and then these rumors start spreading because people are freaked out," she said. "It's a real challenge to informative because we're in unprecedented territory -- this is a situation where we don't know what's going to happen."

ICE officials told the Voice last week that they do not conduct mass immigrant roundups in Northern California. Any recent operations have targeted specific individuals who have been convicted of crimes such as drug trafficking, sex offenses or violent acts, said James Schwab, ICE spokesman for the Bay Area.

"We do not conduct indiscriminate raids or sweeps for undocumented residents," he said. "I get it -- ICE operations are not popular -- but putting out false information about raids is putting people in danger."

Schwab said his phone has been ringing nonstop with calls about new rumors of raids. For some reason, the rumor mill reached a "boiling point" last week with numerous stories of raids spreading around the same time, he said.

Few would dispute this hysteria is linked to President Trump, who campaigned on the promise of deporting illegal immigrants. Since taking office, he said he would move to immediately remove up to 3 million immigrants who have criminal records.

But it remains unclear whether immigration officials have stepped up their game. ICE officials say there has been no increase in arrests or operations in Northern California since the Trump administration took office. Last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced more than 680 immigrants had been detained across the country in operations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio and New York City.

So far in 2017, the rate of deportations could be actually be lower than it was under former President Barack Obama's administration. During fiscal year 2016, an average of about 1,250 individuals were removed from the country each week, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.

But immigrant advocates are bracing for the possibility that ICE enforcement ramps up. The situation has been changing practically on a daily basis, Shugall said.

"We're trying to find that right balance between finding good quality information and trying to limit the panic," she said.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association has set up a website for people to report confirmed raids and enforcement actions at . Meanwhile, Santa Clara County has pledged legal support for any undocumented immigrants who are at risk of being deported.

Comments

52 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 24, 2017 at 10:45 am

"We're in a state of emergency," Marroquin said. "We have a lot of fear in our community. I believe the city needs to take care of this situation."

No, the City needs to stay out of it and perform it's duties as stated in the City Charter. How is this a "state of emergency" anyway? What exactly does that mean?


21 people like this
Posted by JustAnotherCitizen
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 24, 2017 at 11:11 pm

JustAnotherCitizen is a registered user.

Anyone who doesn't understand how this is an emergency should probably talk to some of the Mountain View children who go to bed terrified that their parents will be taken away in the night. Hard to believe this is America.


15 people like this
Posted by The Irony
a resident of North Whisman
on Feb 26, 2017 at 10:41 am

The Irony is a registered user.

By claiming a false "state of emergency", Marroquin and her supporters are only making things worse. Keep in mind, her son also claimed a "wave of hostility" in this fine paper as a result of Trump's winning the presidential election. By promoting this "us against the racist world" narrative, they are attempting to serve their cause believing the end justifies the means. To their credit, they successfully masterminded Measure V using similar tactics and have probably gone back to the well again too early. Giving people false hope that being undocumented and living and working illegally is a legitimate path just creates more problems with the quality of our schools, availability of rental housing, disproportionate use of public services and human exploitation. To try to justify this approach with false charges of hostility and racism in this community is preposterous.


15 people like this
Posted by Ora
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 26, 2017 at 12:57 pm

Ora is a registered user.

Mountain View City Council is routinely overstepping its authority focusing on issues that are not primary responsibilities. I am property owner in Mountain View and I disagree with 90% of City Council decisions. School rezoning, ultra high charges for water, wasteful spending and debt , rent control, and now "fear spreads as feds plan to expand deportations". Is there a hope for City Council to actually do its job protecting rights of property owners and residents or it is too much to ask?


17 people like this
Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Feb 26, 2017 at 3:52 pm

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

Finally, @Ora, someone will stand up for the truly oppressed in Mountain View: the property owners.


9 people like this
Posted by Ora
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 26, 2017 at 4:46 pm

Ora is a registered user.

Randy Guelph, I have 3 kids and after 10-12 hours work in high tech I barely could make my utility payments. I purchased house in terrible condition and spend last 6 years fixing it (borrowing money from all my friends). I am doing this for my kids. Mountain View City Council is in process of changed zoning for schools so oppressed could be in Mountain View schools without paying too much rent. Mt View City Council changed water fee (for draught) so now my last water bill was for over 1000$. I had to cancel all after school activities for my kids to pay water bill. Mountain View City Council just decided to charge extra $400 property tax to pay for hot lunches for oppressed. I will be pleasantly surprised if I am not to be in bankruptcy this year.


9 people like this
Posted by JustAnotherCitizen
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 26, 2017 at 6:27 pm

JustAnotherCitizen is a registered user.

In case anyone else was wondering whether that claim about a $400 property tax increase for hot lunches was an alternative fact, here's what I found.

According to the article linked below, the entire annual budget for food services in the MVWSD is only about $30 per resident. Nearly all of that money has been balanced out by revenue, leaving an annual shortfall of $1 per resident. Scandalous.

Source:
Web Link


5 people like this
Posted by Ora
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 27, 2017 at 5:55 am

Ora is a registered user.

JustAnotherCitizen, following is link to Mountain View Voice article on parcel tax increase amount: Web Link and I am sure you can find other sources (that you trust) on the parcel tax increase amount and purpose (including hot lunches).


7 people like this
Posted by JustAnotherCitizen
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 27, 2017 at 10:25 am

JustAnotherCitizen is a registered user.

Even according to your own link, you've mis-represented things. The purpose of that tax is to "maintain smaller class sizes, compensate teachers and pay for after-school programs."

Here in Silicon Valley, investing in those things makes your property value go way up. There are lots of aspects of MVWSD people could fairly complain about, but this isn't one of them.


7 people like this
Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Feb 27, 2017 at 10:38 am

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

@Ora,

I'm not a financial planner, but spending $1000 / mo on water seems problematic to me. Maybe xeriscape your lawn or check for leaks somewhere?


5 people like this
Posted by JustAnotherCitizen
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 27, 2017 at 12:57 pm

JustAnotherCitizen is a registered user.

LA Times with an excellent update on a governor who is seeking to address the pervasive terror. Regardless of which policy people would prefer, the new lack of clarity undermines the rule of law.

Web Link


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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