John Orr| San Jose Mercury News| Link to Article
Mountain View Mayor Ken S. Rosenberg minced no words on Aug. 30 at City Hall: “Here we go again, trying to protect ourselves against the federal government.”
The occasion was the launch of the Rapid Response Network, which brings together Santa Clara County officials, local immigrant leaders, business leaders and a number of community service groups, to help those who are experiencing crisis at the hands of Immigration Customs Enforcement, ICE.
Rosenberg welcomed a crowd of residents, county supervisors Joe Simitian and Dave Cortese, Chief of Police Max Bosel, community leaders and a crowd of news cameras to the event by noting that Mountain View “is a city that has declared itself a human rights city.”
He added that the City Council has recognized the Rapid Response Network as a necessary program that is meant to provide information and resources to people who need help.
A press release announcing the launch event noted that “Dozens of families have been torn apart by indiscriminate immigration enforcement actions for many years, but at a particularly accelerated rate in the past six months.”
There are currently 4,852 individuals in Santa Clara County who are in deportation proceedings, according to network documents.
The families and communities of those detained … are left flustered and traumatized in the wake of deportation actions,” according to the press release. “The vast majority of those affected by immigration enforcement are an integral part of our community — mothers, fathers, aunts, and uncles, as well as our economy — carpenters, housewives, students, and service workers.”
Simitian, speaking to the crowd on Aug. 30, said there are three key components to the Rapid Response Network:
• “We want people to know their Constitutional rights;
• “We want eyes and ears in the right place at the right time, for accountability in the system; and
• “We want to lift the weight of anxiety off the shoulders of our friends and neighbors.”
The Rapid Response Network press release gave an example: “ICE detained a young man in Mountain View on his way to work. The network was activated, a team was sent to the home and the family was immediately connected to reliable legal service providers and an accompaniment team.”
The network counts on an increased capacity … due to community and volunteer investment — hundreds of responders, most U.S.-born citizens, have been trained as legal observers in order to respond to enforcement alerts.”
The Rapid Response Network — which was unveiled less than a week before the Trump administration was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, DACA, is to work by giving support and advice to people under threat of deportation, and their families. Some 800,000 residents, nationwide, have been helped by DACA, and may now be in jeopardy.
Santa Clara County has allocated $50,000 each to People Acting in Community Together (PACT) and to Sacred Heart Services to help support the network.
To report ICE activity and get help from the network, call 408-290-1144.