Northern California fires are making headlines these days and so are immigrants who are afraid to seek help because they fear deportation and removal. ICE has mentioned that it won’t target immigrants until the case is severe. Counties are also reassuring immigrants so that they can seek help from the government and not remain hidden while the calamity hits them.
The fires have displaced thousands of people, claimed 31 lives and charred more than 200,000 acres of land. Officials are doing all they can to ensure that the residents remain safe by ensuring that they pack necessities ahead of time and abide by the mandatory evacuation orders.
A Unique Challenge
An extraordinary challenge faced by these officials is that many immigrants are refusing to seek help and leave their homes because they fear that immigration authorities would find them and start their deportation and removal process.
About 50,000 immigrants are living illegally in Sonoma and Napa County says the Public Policy Institute of California. Many of these people are agricultural laborers who help in harvesting grapes.
Officials are reassuring those immigrants that they can avoid the fires and get rid of the fear of running into immigrant authorities. Sonoma County is stressing that evacuation shelters don’t need your immigrant status. So, if you are an immigrant, you must visit them while trying to avoid the fires.
The much-feared ICE- Immigration and Customs Enforcement has also stated that routine immigration operations are being suspended in scorched areas. The only individuals targeted in these areas are serious criminals who are a threat to public safety. ICE would also not visit shelters or food banks.
Closing the Language Gap
As many illegal immigrants don’t understand English, Spanish language advisories and alerts are helping people to understand that they can get help and not be afraid of any repercussions.
California and Federal Government
California and the federal government have a stressed relationship at the moment regarding immigration. State officials have made it a sanctuary state which makes it difficult for ICE to seek cooperation from local police officers and jails. It has also sued Trump administration regarding its immigration proposals.
The federal government retaliated by assigning more resources and conducting at large arrests that result in additional collateral arrests rather than just arrests at prisons and jails.
Seek the Best Advice
If you are an immigrant who needs protection from ICE and the fires then you can contact Mr. Abbes, a leading immigration lawyer in Fullerton who caters to clients from various parts of California and helps them to stay in the country. His specializations include deportation and removal defense, immigration & criminal convictions, family-based immigration, deferred action, criminal immigration consultations, citizenship and change of status.