Amid Rumors of ICE Raids, Community Groups Mobilize

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SACRAMENTO -- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra addressed rumors Thursday that a major immigration raid is coming to Northern California.

Becerra said he couldn't confirm or deny rumors of undocumented families being targeted by federal agents.

"We're reaching out to find out if we can learn a little bit more," he said.

While Becerra reminded the public of its limited protection under California law, local advocacy groups for undocumented communities aren't waiting for federal agents to knock at their doors.

They're mobilizing.

"This time around we're hearing Northern California. Obviously, that's half the state," Edwin Valdez, of Sacramento Area Congregations Together (ACT), said. "So for us we're taking that into consideration."

Valdez is Sacramento ACT's rapid response coordinator. Sacramrento ACT is a network that provides legal help and sometimes under-the-radar housing for those at risk of being deported.

With their Bay Area counterparts, they have established hotlines to call in case the raids happen.

"We're able to dispatch volunteers into the area so basically they can become moral observers of the situation," he said.

Rabbi Mona Alfi represents the B'nai Israel congregation in Sacramento.

"The image and the idea of the government doing massive raids in Northern California is a very unsettling idea," Alfi said.

Despite the risk, she's opened its doors to undocumented people seeking refuge -- even if its from federal agents. Alfi says her core beliefs mandate she do so.

"All of my sermons for the last 20 years are suddenly becoming real. Love thy neighbor as thyself. We don't take that as a suggestion, we take that as a religious imperative," she said.

It is still uncertain if those rumored ICE raids will happen. Becerra says in the past, ICE gave the state notice before big operations.

But for the latest round of immigration raids a week ago, Becerra said he was not aware that his department was given notice.


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